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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


Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing. God takes it from there.

 
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