Papal Artifacts joins our Church in wishing our Holy Father, Francis, a very happy 85th birthday.
We are grateful for the gift of his life to our Church.
About the Zuchetto
Father Kunst was able to acquire this zucchetto, worn by Pope Francis, from a museum in Padua.
The Collection has a zucchetto from every pope from as far back as Pius IX who reigned from 1846 – 1878.
The History of the Zucchetto:
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.
Items belonging to or associated with Pope Francis are on Papal Artifacts/Francis.
His biography and related information are on Papal History/Francis.
Pope Francis is celebrating his 85th birthday on Dec. 17. Eighty-five years that began in the Flores neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Pope has occasionally shared snippets from his past, including from his time in school. Once he shared a memory of a teacher he remembered especially fondly.
“She was a good teacher. She taught us how to write and read, she was great. Then, always, when I finished school, I always remembered her, because remembering one’s first teacher is very important, because he or she is the one who sees you off into life first. And I would call her on the phone, as a kid, then as a priest. Then as a bishop, I helped her when she fell ill.”
Besides Argentina and the Vatican, the Pope has lived in Chile, Spain, Ireland and Germany. He is fluent in Spanish, Italian and German, and conversational in a number of other languages, including French and English.
As Pope, he’s often surprised the world with his unusual way of doing things.
For example, he was the first Pope since the first century who chose a name not used by a predecessor.
And during his first Holy Thursday celebration as pontiff, Pope Francis made headlines when he celebrated it with inmates at a prison in Rome.
But for him, it was nothing new. Already in Argentina, he had made it his custom to celebrate the washing of feet in places like jails, hospitals, retirement homes or slums.
During his first canonization celebration, on May 12, 2013, Pope Francis surpassed Pope John Paul II’s record in canonizing the most saints in a single pontificate. He did this when he canonized the 813 Martyrs of Otranto, who had been executed by the Ottomans in 1480.
But before becoming Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio held a number of very different jobs, from a bouncer at a club to a chemist in a lab. In fact, when he was younger, he had a very different idea for his future.
“I changed my mind, obviously. But to answer your question, when I was little, I wanted to be a butcher. I would have loved that.”
Now, at 85 years old, Pope Francis continues to surprise the world with his words and actions.