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Apostolic Nuncio To Conduct Pallium Investiture Ceremony of Archbishop Machado

Published On : 08 Sep 2018   |  Reported By : C V Joseph

Bengaluru: Rev. Dr. Giambattista Diquattro, Apostolic Nuncio in India, will preside over the concelebrated Holy Mass at the Pallium Investiture ceremony of Archbishop Peter Machado of Bengaluru Archdiocese in the presence of the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops on September 12.

The ceremony will be held at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral here. A short felicitation programme will follow the investiture ceremony at St. Germain’s Institutions here, said the organizing committee which includes Vicars General Msgr S Jayanathan and Msgr C Francis besides Fr Xavier Manavath cmf, Episcopal Vicar for Religious.

What is all about Pallium? (Form and Use of the Modern Pallium)

The Pallium is a liturgical vestment that dates to the 4th century and eventually became associated with bishops. By the 11th century, Metropolitan archbishops had to seek permission from the Pope to wear it. This developed into an annual celebration where the newly appointed archbishops from around the world would travel to Rome and receive the Pallium from the Roman Pontiff.

The modern Pallium is a circular band about two inches wide, worn about the neck, breast and shoulders and having two pendants, one hanging down in front and one behind. The pendants are about two inches wide and twelve inches long and are weighted with small pieces of lead covered with black silk. The remainder of the Pallium is made of white wool, part of which is supplied by two lambs presented annually as a tax by the Lateran Canons Regular to the Chapter of St. John on the feast of St. Agnes, solemnly blessed on the high altar of that church after the Pontifical Mass, and then offered to the Pope. The ornamentation of the Pallium consists of six small black crosses — one each on the breast and back, one on each shoulder, and one on each pendant. The crosses on the breast, back, and left shoulder are provided with a loop for the reception of a gold pin set with a precious stone. The Pallium is worn over the chasuble.

The use of the Pallium is reserved to the Pope and archbishops, but the latter may not use it until, on petition, they have received the permission of the Holy See. Bishops sometimes receive the Pallium as a mark of special favour, but it does not increase their powers or jurisdiction nor give them precedence.

The new Palliums are solemnly blessed after the Second Vespers on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul and are then kept in a special silver-gilt casket near the Confessio Petri until required. The Pallium is conferred in Rome by a cardinal-deacon, and outside of Rome by a bishop; in both cases the ceremony takes place after the celebration of Mass and the administration of the oath of allegiance.

In 2015, Pope Francis determined that the pontiff will no longer formally bestow the Pallium on bishops in Rome. Instead, bishops now travel to Rome for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, when the pope blesses the pallia at Mass (after they have been left overnight at the tomb of St. Peter beneath the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica) and presents them to each new metropolitan bishop in private.

The bishops then travel home to their own dioceses, where the Papal Nuncio formally bestows the Pallium at a special Mass in the home cathedral. This emphasizes the importance of the local diocese and allows for many more of the bishop’s flock to participate in the celebration.

The symbolism of the Pallium is rich in meaning. First of all, the Pallia are made of wool from lambs that are presented on the feast of St. Agnes of Rome (January 21), whose name became associated with the Latin word for lamb (agnus). Two lambs are traditionally blessed by the pope on that day and then on Holy Thursday the sheep’s wool is sheared.

According to the Office of Liturgical Celebrations, the wool is then made into a “straight sash of material of almost five centimeters … curved at the center thus allowing it to rest on the shoulders over the chasuble and with two black flaps falling in front and behind. It is decorated with six crosses of black silk, one on each end and four on the incurvature, and is decorated in front and on the back, with three pins made of gold and jewels (acicula).”

Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the meaning behind the Pallium in his first homily as pope, saying, “The symbolism of the Pallium is even more concrete: the lamb’s wool is meant to represent the lost, sick or weak sheep which the shepherd places on his shoulders and carries to the waters of life.”

The Pallium highlights the bishop’s role as shepherd and reminds him of the “yoke” of Christ that he is called to carry. This is further emphasized by the six crosses that adorn the Pallium, bringing to mind the many crosses that the bishop must bear as a disciple of Christ.

Furthermore, since the pallium is traditionally connected to the papacy, it reinforces the unity of the bishops.


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