Pope Francis and His Flock

Today is the memorial of St. Agnes, a personal favorite of mine. Every year on the Feast of St. Agnes, the Pope blesses the lambs whose wool will be used to make the pallia given to new metropolitan bishops by the pope. Talk about liturgical creativity! Below is a picture from last year.


Every year this feast serves to remind me of the interconnectedness of our liturgical and sacramental system. It also reminds me how interconnected our liturgies are to creation. The bread we bless, the cup we drink, the pallia bestowed, are all the work of human hands. But more fundamentally, they come from God’s creation. Through the transformation of water and wheat into bread, and of wool into pallia, we act as co-creators and stewards of God’s creation.

And lets be honest, how cool is it to see the pope bless little lambs? Just look at them!

More about the lambs and the tradition surrounding them can be found at CNA.

On this happy occasion, I wish you and yours a very joyful Feast of St. Agnes.




One comment

  1. What a pity the pallia made from the wool of these lambs won’t resemble the pallium Pope Benedict wore at the beginning of his papacy. It is the most beautiful vestment from the early church and was designed to signify the episcopal office. As the omophorion still is for all bishops in the east.

    Today, in the west it is a disappointing remnant of what once was the singular badge of the episcopate. The idea that it signifies the sheep each bishop must guard from the wolves.

    In the west the alterations in the shape of the pallium down through the middle ages never did justice to the original symbolism of the pallium. Maybe Pope Francis could have the pallia cut in the shape of a draped white lamb’s wool stole, as we see in the earliest Christian art. Then extend the privilege of wearing the pallium to the ordinary of each diocese and not limit the privilege to metropolitan archbishops.

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