Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Buen Día del Santo

As this 23rd of April is the feast of St George, it's likewise the onomastico – saint's day – of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now the Pope.

In a shot circulated to mark the feast by the Italian vaticanista Francesco Grana, the pontiff's shown with a gourd of his beloved Argentinian maté in the new Papal Apartment – Suite 201 at the Domus – a statue of his homeland's patroness, the Madonna de Luján, atop the coffee table.

As some will have noticed, Francis was snapped wearing a simple cassock without the usual oversleeves and shoulder-cape, which he's taken to sporting around the Vatican guesthouse over recent weeks. While a similar model was employed by B16 during his downtime, following Joseph Ratzinger's 2005 election the now Pope-emeritus tried to wear it in public, but was pressured against doing so by his handlers. (Before their respective ascents to the papacy, both pontiffs primarily made use of capeless cassocks.)

In a similar vein, six weeks into his mandate as bishop of Rome, few have remarked that the new Pope has yet to – and likely will not – maintain the practice of his predecessors in wearing a sash embroidered with his coat of arms, instead still using the unadorned, sparsely-fringed band that awaited the Conclave's choice in the Room of Tears.

To mark his name-day, the pontiff celebrated his daily morning Mass not in the usual spot at his Vatican residence, but in the Pauline Chapel with the cardinals present in Rome.