Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Traditional Symbolism on the Papal Easter Stole [Updated]

This is a minor item, but I still wanted to point it out: As professional pictures of Monday's papal liturgy on the Tiber island become available, we can have a closer look at the white papal Easter stole, which we have seen again for the first time after a break of over 30 years. And a very nice detail is the ornamentation, which features, as can be seen on the following pictures, on the left end a phoenix rising from the ashes, a very ancient symbol for the Lord's resurrection from the dead.

On the right end, we find a peacock, an ancient symbol of immortality (because the ancients believed the flesh of the peacock to be incorruptible; cf. St. Augustine, De civitate Dei, XXI, 4: "Quis enim nisi Deus creator omnium dedit carni pavonis mortui ne putesceret?"):

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