40 Archbishops received Pallium, Three from India

July 5, 2013 by  
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ArchbishopsJuly 03, 2013: Pope Francis placed the pallium on 40 archbishops from various parts of the world in this year’s ceremony on 29 June, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul at the Vatican. Three archbishops from India were among those who received the pallium. They are: Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Visakhapatnam, Archbishop George Antonysamy of Madras and Mylapore and Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Delhi.

The modern pallium is a circular band about two inches wide, having two pendants worn about the neck. It is made of white wool, part of which is supplied by two lambs presented annually as a tax by the Lateran Canons Regular to the Chapter of St. John on the feast of St. Agnes, solemnly blessed on the high altar of that church after the pontifical Mass, and then offered to the pope. The ornamentation of the pallium consists of six small black crosses — one each on the breast and back, one on each shoulder, and one on each pendant. The pallium is worn over the chasuble.

The use of the pallium is reserved to the pope and archbishops, but the latter may not use it until, on petition they have received the permission of the Holy See. The pope may use the pallium at any time. Others, even archbishops, may use it only in their respective dioceses, and there only on the days and occasions designated in the “Pontificale”. Worn by the pope, the pallium symbolizes the plenitudo pontificalis officii (i.e. the plenitude of pontifical office); worn by archbishops, it typifies their participation in the supreme pastoral power of the pope, who concedes it to them for their proper church provinces. The pallium is conferred in Rome by the Pope or a cardinal-deacon, and outside of Rome by a bishop; in both cases the ceremony takes place after the celebration of Mass and the administration of the oath of allegiance.

It is impossible to indicate exactly when the pallium was first introduced. According to the “Liber Pontificalis”, it was first used in the first half of the fourth century. This book relates, in the life of Pope Marcus (d. 336), that he conferred the right of wearing the pallium on the Bishop of Ostia, because the consecration of the pope appertained to him. At any rate, the wearing of the pallium was usual in the fifth century; this is indicated by the above-mentioned reference contained in the life of St. Marcus which dates from the beginning of the sixth century, as well as by the conferring of the pallium on St. Cæsarius of Arlesby Pope Symmachus in 513.

There are many different opinions concerning the origin of the pallium. Some trace it to an investiture by Constantine the Great (or one of his successors); others consider it an imitation of the Hebrew ephod, the humeral garment of the high priest. Others again declare that its origin is traceable to a mantle of St. Peter, which was symbolical of his office as supreme pastor.

– crib

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