Have you ever wondered about the story behind Pope Benedict XVI's famous red shoes or why all the cardinals are wearing caps that looks like yarmulkes? Find out what the pope wears and why.
Zuchetto: A skullcap that looks a lot like a Jewish yarmulke. They were originally worn to retain body heat, since priests used to have a ring of hair shaved off the tops of their heads, according to EWTN. Popes wear white zuchettos, cardinals wear red and bishops wear violet. Priests can wear black zuchettos when not celebrating Mass, but most don’t.
Miter: A pointed hat worn by the pope, cardinals and bishops. It is removed during Masses.
Pallium: A white, circular piece of fabric draped over the neck with flaps hanging in the back and the front. It is worn while the pope celebrates Mass. This garment is unique to the pope.
Pectoral cross: A large cross suspended on a chain and worn over the chest. It is worn by popes, cardinals and bishops.
Fisherman’s ring: This traditional ring has an image of the first pope, Peter, who was a fisherman, and the new pope’s Latin name. The ring is used to seal documents and is destroyed when the pope leaves office.
Mozetta: A short cape worn over the shoulders that comes down to the elbows. Popes have red mozettas for most of the year, but wear white mozettas around Easter.
Papal shoes: The tradition of wearing red shoes dates back to 1566. Before that, the pope wore all red, but Pope Pius V was a Dominican who decided to keep his order’s traditional white wear, keeping only the red shoes, cap and cape, according to NPR. Pope John Paul II decided to forgo the red shoes, but Pope Benedict XVI famously brought them back.
Ordinary dress: The pope’s daily wear when he is not at a religious service or another formal event.
Choir dress: The formal dress the pope wears when not saying Mass.
Papal tiara: Formally known as the Triregnum, this triple crown symbolizes the popes power as “father of kings, governor of the world and Vicar of Christ,” according to the Vatican press office. It was only used during formal ceremonies and has not been used since the reign of Pope Paul VI.
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