Here we see the beloved white moiré silk soutane worn by Pius XII, now kept in the treasury of the Vatican Basilica. They say that John Paul II was the last pope to wear one, albeit only once, on the day of his "installation" Mass. Also seen here, the famous white mozzetta, which they say was an innovation of Pius XII.
Monday, November 10, 2008
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It wasn't actually a mozzetta, because Pius XII never wore the accompanying papal stole with it.
Rather, it was Pius XII's answer to wearing something warm in Winter season.
This was at a time when the idea of the Pope appearing to wear a sweater etc. was definitly unacceptable. It would be like the Queen of England wearing shorts in the Summer.
So, to keep the cold off, but to still look dignified, Pius XII invented this warm fur vest.
I'm sure Pius actually did wear a sweater etc. underneath his cassock in Winter...but back then it was unacceptable to be seen in one.
John Paul II in the beginning of his reign went around in a white waist length white sweater with pockets.
But it looked rather ridiculous for the dignity of the Pope, and was soon abandoned.
Then again, John Paul II appeared on the ski slopes, and hiked along mountains in pants and hiking boots on his vacations....much to the horror of Papal chamberlains.
Pius XII was the epitome of Papal style, even in his invention of this little fur vest.
Indeed! Pius XII had a pervasive sense of style and grace not seen since!
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