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Daily Catholic Question

What is the papal tiara?

In its simplest form the papal tiara seems to have appeared about the third century. Over the years it became much more ornate and took on a kind of beehive shape.

The tiara came to consist of three crowns. According to James Charles Noonan, Jr., in The Church Visible, the bottom crown became ornamentation at the base of the miter in the ninth century. When the popes assumed temporal power, the base crown became decorated with jewels to resemble the crowns of princes. A second crown was added by Boniface VIII in 1298 to symbolize spiritual dominion. Very soon after, a third crown and lappets (cloth strips) were added.

According to Noonan, the triple tiara represents the pope’s universal episcopate, his supreme jurisdiction and his temporal power. It is also said to represent his role as priest, pastor and teacher.

In our century the tiara came to be regarded as inappropriate because of its ornateness and rich character. Pope Paul VI stopped wearing the tiara and sold his, using the funds for the poor.

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Friday, December 7, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 12/6/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 12/8/2012


Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog There are many things we must do to grow in holiness and faith. But our actions are one-millionth of what we need to be saved and to have a relationship with God. God’s free gift of grace covers the rest of it.


 
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