Father Kunst has zucchettos from every pope from Blessed Pius IX to Pope Francis. This is the first one, however, that came in this decorative container, which makes its presentation even more beautiful. The lid of the octagonal container has the coat of arms of Pius X surrounded by an ornamental design of great beauty. While the zucchetto is a treasured artifact, its presentation in such a beautiful container makes it all the more desirable.
More importantly, Pope Pius X is a canonized saint. The fact that this is a zucchetto actually worn by him makes this a 2nd class relic, and for that reason, it is of deep spiritual value and, therefore, a very valued part of the Papal Artifacts’ Collection.
They are small skullcaps worn by clerics of the church. They consit of eight panels sewn together with a stem on top. They were first worn to keep the tonsured (shaved) heads of clergy warm in damp, cold churches, but they have survived to the present day. All ordained clergy are entitled to wear a zucchettos. 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 may also wear them. The world 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.