So…. Who’s Getting Up VERY EARLY to Watch the Mass?

Cardinals process to Sistine Chapel

Tomorrow’s the big day:  At 10:00 a.m. Rome time (yep, that’s 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time!), the Cardinals will gather in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff (Mass Pro Eligendo).  The principal celebrant will be His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals.  If you are a morning person with the unadulterated will to rise at that hour, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see all of the Cardinals in the world gather to celebrate the E … [Read more...]

A Coat of Arms for the Interregnum

Coat of Arms during interregnum

Have you ever seen this?Probably not—This is the coat of arms of the Holy See during the Interregnum, that period after a pope leaves office until a new pontiff is elected by the College of Cardinals.  It is also known as the Sede Vacante period, that time when the Seat (the Chair of Peter, that is) is Vacant.Instead of the papal tiara over the keys, as is customary for the Holy See and the Vatican City State, the tiara is replaced with the umbraculum (ombrellino, in Italian). This sy … [Read more...]


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