August 6, 1978: On the Feast of the Transfiguration: The Death of Pope Paul VI
Giovanni Montini’s life as an ordained minister of the Catholic Church began on May 29, 1920 and continued until his death in 1978.
Papal Artifacts honors the gift of his life to our Church and offers this vignette, an experience he had with his beloved Pope Pius XII in February, 1941.
This vignette sums up Montini’s almost mystical regard for the papal office. On the evening of 9 February 1941, Pius took Montini down to the crypt of St. Peter’s where the tomb of Pius XI had just been completed, two years after his death. The Pope lingered a long time, Montini wrote, praying and commenting on what he saw. Then he prayed at the tombs of Pius X and Benedict XV.
Never had the communion of saints and the spritual genealogy of the successors of Christ been given, it seemed to me, a more moving expression. And that is very consoling. The Church, this living reality, spiritual and visible, is more present than ever, more modern and necessary than ever; may God who unites and teaches us all be praised.
Pius knew he would be entombed here in this crypt alongside his predecessors; Montini did not yet know that he would be buried here too. But this experience affected Montini’s idea of the papacy forever. It was an exalted idea of the papal office that other Christians found hard to understand:
It placed the pope at the heart of the communion of saints.
Paul VI, The First Modern Pope by Peter Hebblethwaite
On October 19, 2014, Venerable Paul VI was beatified. The Curator of this Collection was privileged to attend his beatification.
And on October 14, 2018, Blessed Paul VI became Pope Saint Paul VI.
Pope St. Paul VI, pray for us!
Papal Artifacts honors the memory and gift to our Church of this man who reigned from 1963 until 1978.
Pope St. Paul VI, pray for us!
A Zucchetto Belonging to Blessed Paul VI
The source of several zucchettos on this site is a woman who found Father Kunst while doing a random search on the Internet. She was looking for a worthy place to donate the zucchettos she had inherited from her parents.
Because of his interest and his collection she was assured they would be well taken care of. She gave them as gifts to him.
They include this zucchetto as well as Pius XII’s and John XXIII’s
A zucchetto is a small skullcap worn by clerics of the church. It consists of eight panels sewn together with a stem on top.
It was first adopted to keep the tonsured (shaved) heads of clergy warm in damp, cold churches but it has survived to the present day.
All ordained clergy are entitled to wear a zucchetto. The color denotes the wearer’s rank: the pope’s is white; cardinals’ are scarlet and bishops’ are a shade of purple. Priests’ are black. Deacons are also entitled to wear zucchettos.
The zucchetto comes from the Italian word, zucchetti, meaning a small gourd or zucchini and is indicative of its shape.
Bishops wear the zucchetto throughout the Mass, removing it at designated times.
The Collection has a zucchetto from every pope from as far back as Pius IX, who reigned from 1846 – 1878.