Pope Francis Pectoral Cross

From the first moment Pope Francis stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica soon after being elected pope, Catholics around the world have been captivated by the man chosen to lead the Catholic Church. What fascinates so many people about Pope Francis is his humility and simplicity.

In a world where appearances count, the way Pope Francis chooses to dress and adorn himself speaks volumes about his quiet, meek persona. Unlike many of his predecessors, Pope Francis chooses to wear a simple white cassock and pectoral cross when he’s seen in public.

It’s his pectoral cross that intrigues many people. You may be wondering: why does he choose to wear it? What’s the history behind the particular cross he wears? Let’s take a closer look at what we discovered.

History of the Pectoral Cross

The pectoral cross (Latin for “of the chest”) is a cross worn by popes, cardinals, and bishops on a chain or cord around the neck. The large cross rests on the chest near the heart. One of the first popes to wear a pectoral cross was Pope Leo III, in the year 811. He was given the cross as a gift from Nicephorus, the Patriarch of Constantinople. The cross was made of gold and soon it became customary for popes to wear a pectoral cross as an outward symbol of their prestige and power. Pectoral crosses are typically made of gold and many early crosses were adorned with jewels and precious stones.

Pope Francis’ Pectoral Cross

In striking contrast to previous pectoral crosses, Pope Francis’ cross is made of silver, and there are no stones or jewels. Pope Francis refused the customary gold cross that was offered to him when he became pope, choosing instead to continue to wear the same cross he wore for many years as archbishop and cardinal in his native Argentina. (Pope Francis received the cross as a gift from a friend after becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires).

Pope Francis

As can be expected, Pope Francis’ pectoral cross has special meaning to him and deep symbolism. According to the magazine Messenger of Saint Anthony, when Pope Francis was a bishop and later a cardinal, he often visited the poorest areas of Buenos Aires. As he traveled and visited with the poor and destitute population he would hold onto his pectoral cross—a gesture symbolizing his desire to be a shepherd to the poor. As Pope Francis would speak and pray with the outcast and downtrodden, many of them were drawn to his cross and would find solace by touch and kissing it.

What Does Pope Francis’ Pectoral Cross Look Like?

Pope Francis Pectoral CrossThe images that appear on Pope Francis’ pectoral cross are fitting of a man whose goal is to shepherd his people to a life of simplicity as they grow closer to God. The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is seen on the center of the cross. Jesus is holding a lamb around his shoulders as He leads a flock of sheep. The sheep represent all of us who follow Jesus and His desire to have everyone follow Him. As was typical of Jesus, He is simply dressed and barefoot. Above is a dove symbolizing the presence of the Holy Spirit. Pope

Francis is well on his way of molding his legacy as the “good shepherd” pontiff. Just as Jesus did, he has reached out to countless people suffering from all types of maladies, even washing and kissing the feet of the sick. He has said he chose to be named after St. Francis because St. Francis is “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.” He urges us to live as St. Francis did.

What better way to be reminded of St. Francis and Pope Francis’ simple, yet profound message than to wear your own pectoral cross.

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Angela sent us these wonderful photos and description on how she is honoring Mary in her garden. We love to see the photos and inspiration from our happy customers!

“Here are the pictures from my yard for my Our Lady of Lourdes statue you made me. She is so beautiful and I am so proud to share this with you. Here grotto is made out Of marble hand carved from Italy over 150 years ago. My father had the marble from A church that was torn down and he was given the marble from the priest and has Been sitting under his deck for over 10 years.”

Mary Statue in Garden

Mary Statue in Garden

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Besides Mary, Mother of Jesus, the other well-known Mary in the New Testament is Mary Magdalene. These two prominent figures in the Catholic Church share the same name, but that’s where their similarities end. Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene couldn’t be more different. The Blessed Virgin Mary was born without original sin and was pure, while Mary Magdalene was a sinner and a prostitute.

Or was she?

Mary Magdalene Fact or Fiction
As with many figures in the Bible, Mary Magdalene’s life is up to much debate and interpretation. Mary Magdalene is often confused with another Mary—Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus) and is often believed to be the penitent woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair.
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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

For her feast day, we offer a prayer to the Blessed Mother of Mount Carmel.

Oh most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. Oh Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother. Oh Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity (insert your request). There are none that can withstand your power. Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Sweet Mother I place this cause in your hands. Amen.

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St Benedict
During a recent Mass at his Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis warned in his homily,

“The devil is here…even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”

Pope Francis reminds us that:

  • Temptation is constantly around us
  • The devil is always looking for ways to steer us away from the right path.
  • The devil is sneaky and is unrelenting in his attempt to make us sin.
  • We must constantly be vigilant and not give in even to the smallest temptations.
  • We must rely on the Scriptures to teach us how to fight the devil
  • Pray to God for his protection

We can also pray to St. Benedict—protector against evil spirits—for his intercession and protection from the snares of the devil. 

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Don't Forget JesusAs the school year winds down, school uniforms and backpacks will soon get banished to the backs of closets as bathing suits, suitcases and beach bags see the light of day once again. Kids aren’t the only ones longing for vacation–adults usually wait all year to take a much-needed break from their hectic schedules during the summer months. As you plan your vacation, you probably have some sort of packing list close by to make sure you don’t leave anything important behind. As you’re planning this summer’s getaway, don’t forget to add Jesus to your packing list! You read that correctly–don’t leave Jesus or your faith behind.

One thing you should never take a break from is your faith.

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