Friday, 1 March 2013

Benedict XVI: Miscellany 6

Benedict XVI invested with the Pallium April 2005.
At the end of April 2009, the Pope visited the district of Aquila, which had been devastated a few days previously by an earthquake.  In the nearby town of Sulmona, Pope Benedict visited the damaged basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio and venerated the remains of his predecessor Pope Saint Peter Celestine V, which by some miracle had escaped destruction in the earthquake.

In the last few weeks, we have heard and read much about Celestine V, since he was the last Pope to voluntarily Renounce the See of Peter in 1294.  Read more about Pope Celestine here.

Visiting the tomb of his predecessor, Benedict XVI brought with him the pallium with which he had been invested as Supreme Pontiff 4 years earlier.  In a gesture whose symbolism is now only fully understood, Pope Benedict laid his pallium on the casket containing the remains of Celestine V.  Just over a year later, in July 2010, Pope Benedict returned to the city and celebrated Mass, before the casket of Pope Celestine.

Placing the Papal Pallium on the casket of Celestine V.

Papal Mass in Sulmona with the remains of Pope Celestine in the foreground.