Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Historic Photos of a Cardinal’s Funeral Procession

January 7th was the anniversary of the death of Eugenio Cardinal Tosi, who was created archbishop of Milan in March of 1922 by his predecessor in that see, Achille Ratti, shortly after the latter’s elevation to the Papacy with name of Pius XI. Raised to the cardinalate at the end of that same year, he served in the see of St Ambrose until 1929, and was succeeded within a few months of his passing by the Bl. Ildephonse Schuster. Nicola recently found some images of Cardinal Tosi’s funeral procession, which was held three days after his death. The procession departed from the archiepiscopal palace, made its way on a long route through the center of the city, and then back to the Duomo. In that period, it was still considered very improper to take photos or film of religious ceremonies, and so this set unfortunately includes only the outdoor procession, and not the funeral itself; the number of ecclesiastics and religious gives us at least a hint of how magnificent the funeral Mass would have been.

The archpriest and canons of the cathedral chapter prepare for the funeral procession. As in many other important churches in Europe, the cathedral canons of Milan have the right to wear miter; they can also traditionally celebrate a slightly reduced form of Pontifical Mass much as abbots do.
Decoration of the central door of the Duomo with a commendatory inscription in honor of the newly deceased cardinal.
The standard of the city of Milan 
Clerics and seminarians of the seminary at Porta Venezia, with the capitular master of ceremonies Mons. Luigi Lanella at right.
Provosts of the various churches of the archdiocese of Milan, which in terms of the number of churches and inhabitants is one of the largest in the world.
Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Milan.
Canons of the cathedral, with their capitular cross at the head of their part of the procession; each canon is accompanied by a younger cleric who holds his candle for him.
The canons who will officiate at the ceremony, in miter.

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