Saturday, March 28, 2009

A very rare image: cardinalatial garments and insignia, etc.


Here's a peek at what it all looked like. Notice the mourning or penitential cappa magna, etc.
Many thanks to a friend who shared this image from a book!

14 comments:

conte rezzoni said...

breathtaking
It would be interesting to know if all this fabulous garments of Cardinal Mercier still exist somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say that Paul VI, for whatever warped reasoning discarded all of this.

Some of this I recognize, but some I don't. I do know that the purple "mourning" cappa magna etc. survived the reign of John XXIII, but was discarded by Paul VI.

Very few people know of the rose-pink Cardinal's cappa magna etc. that was worn by Cardinals (except those of religious Orders), up until the reign of Pius XII-who discarded/supressed them very late in his reign (1957). At the same time, he also greatly shortened the Cardinals train of their cappa, but John XXIII 2-3 years later recinded this ruling and allowed for the long trains again.

To his discredit, Paul VI discarded all of this, and very much more vesture and Catholic tradition...all in the name of updating and ecumenism. A real tragedy that will be hard to recover from.

** Does anyone know when during the year, and for what purpose the Cardinals wore the rose-pink cappa magnas etc? I have a photo of Pius XII in one when he was a Cardinal (1936 during visit to NY).

leo said...

Dude...

:: speechless ::

Don Jon said...

WOW!!!

I'm lost for words. I wish Philippine bishops had those items (according to rank, of course) in their closets.

leo said...

Anon: I always thought the rose cappa was a liturgical myth. There were rose mozzettas and cassocks, though. Those were worn on Laetare and Gaudete. If you have a photo of Cardinal Pacelli in the rose cappa, I'd LOVE to see it. If you want, go to my profile and eMail me a scan (if you have the opportunity to scan the pic somehow). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when during the year, and for what purpose the Cardinals wore the rose-pink cappa magnas etc?

Twice a year: Gaudete & Laetare Sundays.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but it reminds me of Monty Python. There is a nobility and dignity to ancient church vesture, as there still is in most of the Eastern churches and to some extent in the simplified forms of Paul VI, but much of this bling IMHO is just excessive. And it's hardly manly either.

Alipius said...

Well, anon, then who defines what's manly? Or, to put in in a different way, what is manly? Caving in to temporary preferences or having the cojones to wear what the ancient dignity of your office prescribes without whining 'Aw... I can't... I'm afraid this makes me look unmanly...'?

DJG said...

Great Photo!

Could we we have somebody identify the items on the Photo specifically please for our education.

Mr. Sonnen, you are the best! My Best also to Leo of the Far Sight 2.0!

latinmass1983 said...

The rose-colored cappa magna was worn, as alreadys aid, on the days (and I think also on the weekdays after days) that Rose is worn by priests.

The use of the Rose cappa magna cannot really be attributed to Pius XII. It seems that it had not been used since the 1940's because the directions for Cardinals in 1943 mentiones everything regarding the vesture of Cardinals, except the Rose-colored ones. So, I doubt it that it was Pius XII who abolished the practice.

When Pius XII was in the US in 1936 I think it was the month of October... so, it could not really be a Rose cappa magna that he was wearing... Why would he wear it in October?

Anonymous said...

I take your point, Alipius, about accepting what goes with the ancient dignity of office. But "ancient" is a relative term: for some it means pre-Vatican II (i.e., as recently as the 1950s), for others pre-Trent, for others pre-13th century, for others first millennium. However, it's often a capricious selection from among these eras: what I like is "ancient" and "traditional", what I don't is ignored.

Much of what we think of as ancient is only relatively so, a product of continual change and adaptation: the mitre is not found before the 11th century, the crosier was resisted in Rome, cardinal's outfits are basically 13th-century, "traditional" episcopal dress was systematized in the 19th century by Pius IX, and so on.

Taste, of course, is also relative, and I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on Cardinal Mercier's clobber. I find some of it ludicrous rather than dignified, more suited to a pantomime than a churchman. Many will disagree, of course, but symbolic dress is a form of communication, and it is legitimate to ask in any age what it is communicating.

conte rezzoni said...

in my youth I have seen in Spain and Italy dozens of cardinals, bishops and other prelates in the here depicted dignitous garments. for my part they did not left the impression they were clowns or pantomimes. But when I see what today is common in the episcopate worldwide ( ill-fitting prêt-à-porter cassocks, baseball caps at open air masses, clunky shoes etc) it would have been maybe more reasonable Pope Paul VI had abolished the whole choir dress and not letting it fouled up beyond all recognition.

Don Mauro said...

If you read Moroni, you can learn that there were rose cassock, mozzetta and mantelletta; but the cappa was violet.

Alipius said...

anon...

Don't really feel like my questions were answered, don't need to be schooled on the history of liturgy but would love to see the logical respectively spiritual connection between preference of liturgical sobriety and taking a shot at those those who don't comply with phrases like "Monty Python" and "hardly manly".