21 Jan 2013

One of Il Papa's more unusual tasks during the year......

.....the blessing of the lambs on the Feast of St Agnes





Marking the feast of St. Agnes Pope Benedict blessed the two lambs from whose wool the pallium will be woven in the monastery of Saint Cecilia in Trastevere. The pallium are narrow white bands worn by metropolitan archbishops around their necks as a symbol of their authority and unity with the Pope. The Holy Father presents them to newly-appointed metropolitan archbishops each year on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Agnes means "lamb" in Latin. The saint of the same name was a martyr of the early 4th century, known for her consecrated virginity, who was killed for refusing to worship pagan gods.

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