On June 26th, 1967, Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) appointed Archbishop Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland, to the Sacred College of Cardinals. He was forty-seven years of age.
This zucchetto is actually a very historically significant item. Although it is not absolutely certain, it is very likely that this is the zucchetto given to Cardinal Wojtyla by Pope Paul VI. The reason this is plausible is because on the inside there is a small tag that says, “K J Wojtyla, 1967, San Cesareo in Palatio”. That is the name of the church that he was given as his titular church upon his elevation. Because more than one man is elevated to the cardinalate at a time and because they are of different sizes, it is important to specify which zucchetto belongs to which cardinal. Therefore tags are put inside to assure each receives the correct hat.
This is a very rare item owned by a recently canonized pope, and it is very likely the one given to him by Pope Paul VI.
It’s so fascinating to think that Karol Wojtyla wore this on the day that he was made a cardinal. And the way we know this to be true is because of that tag on the inside of the hat.
Also, since each cardinal is always given a titular church that, in and of itself, is proof that this is his original zucchetto.
I’ve also done a little research with the person I actually got the zucchetto from. And other people who have been secretaries to cardinals when they were elected have said it is a common thing when someone is made cardinal to put this little tag inside the hat. This is because every cardinal wants a different size zucchetto that feels comfortable to wear.