Sunday, November 13, 2022

An Ambrosian Episcopal Consecration, 1955

For the beginning of Ambrosian Advent, we are happy to share these photos of an episcopal consecration celebrated by the archbishop of Milan Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, on this day in the year 1955. The ceremony took place at the church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Santa Maria Nascente) in Erba, about 26 miles directly north of Milan; this church shares its dedication with the metropolitan cathedral. The new bishop, Aristide Pirovano, was consecrated for the territorial prelature of Macapá in Brazil, a position which he held for almost ten years, before resigning to become Superior General of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. He is seen in the third photo arriving with the co-consecrators, Gaetano Pollio, bishop of Kaifeng, and Mario Civelli, bishop of Jixiang; both of them were also members of the PIFM, and at the time of this consecration, had recently been expelled from China and their sees by the new communist government.

For the sake of simplicity, I have titled this post “An Ambrosian Episcopal Consecration”, but in point of fact, since the time of Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605), the Ambrosian Pontificale has been the same as the Roman, and therefore, although the Mass was in the Ambrosian Rite, the rite of consecration itself was Roman. Thanks once again to Nicola de’ Grandi, who provided these photos.

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