Good Shepherd Crucifix Medal Pope Francis' Silver Pectoral Cross, Religious Medallion, Catholic Gift, Original By Vedele Made In Italy
Up for your consideration is this wonderful replica cross of Pope Francis' Silver Pectoral Cross, Featuring Christ As The Good Shepherd. A gorgeous heavy silver metal casting that contains a pious image of Jesus as The Good Shepherd tending to his sheep. Amazingly deep details prevail like the folds of fabric, and winged Holy Spirit from above. Beautiful large piece! This cross is made of a silver alloy and has a lovely patina, yet is tarnish resistant. The reverse shows the hallmark of the creator VEDELE along with the stamp that is was Made In Italy! Own a gorgeous reproduction of the actual cross worn by Our Holy Father today!!!
WHEN POPE Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time, it was immediately apparent to Vatican watchers that the 266th pontiff was different. He wore a simple cassock and was adorned only by a plain pectoral cross.
A year has now passed since that moment, and because so many people have written to me asking for information on that cross, I have finally decided to dedicate an article to the story behind this intriguing devotional object which the Holy Father always keeps close to his heart.
A pectoral cross (from the Latin pectoralis, ‘of the chest’) is a cross that is worn on the chest, usually suspended from the neck by a cord or a chain. One of the earliest mentions of a pectoral cross is that of Pope Hilarius in 461. A few centuries later, in 811, we hear that Nicephorus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, sent Pope Leo III a gold pectoral cross, and in the course of time it became customary for the Roman pontiff to wear this type of cross on the most solemn occasions.
The pectoral cross Pope Francis wears is not made from gold, but rather from silver. This much humbler emblem of spiritual authority has become symbolic of the Pope’s apostolic mission, which is inspired by the Franciscan ideal of evangelical poverty.
For centuries the pectoral cross worn by popes, cardinals and bishops has been the symbol of their prestige and temporal power. To highlight their high rank and prestige, crosses was made from gold and were sometimes embellished with gems and precious stones. We can still see some of these pectoral crosses in museums, and we certainly can admire them for their great beauty and fine craftsmanship.
However, on the day of his election, March 13, 2013, during his vesting prior to being presented to the world from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis decided to do without the gold pectoral cross. When Monsignor Guido Marini, Master of Ceremonies, presented him with the papal vestments, the Pope put on the simple traditional white attire, but refused the red velvet mozzetta trimmed with white ermine fur, a symbol of regality. In the same way, Francis turned down the gold pectoral cross, explaining that he wanted to keep the one he had always worn as a bishop and cardinal in his native Argentina.
Francis’ pectoral cross is made from silver; however, when he first spoke to the world from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica it appeared dark, having an almost rusty hue, leading some journalists to the erroneous conclusion that it was made of iron. How did this come about?
When he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and later a cardinal and Primate of the Argentine Church, Archbishop Bergoglio continued to lead the lifestyle of a simple parish priest. He refused to reside at the Archbishop’s House, preferring instead to live in a small flat with a retired priest, and he cooked his own meals. Whenever he had any free time available from his numerous duties as Archbishop, he went to the slums of Buenos Aires (favelas). At that time Archbishop Bergoglio did not even have a car. He just used the buses or the subway. During the trip from the Archbishop’s House to the favelas, located on the outskirts of the city, he would often clutch his pectoral cross – the symbol of his desire to shepherd the poor. The cross had more than a sentimental value for the man who wore it; it also meant something for those he visited. The outcasts of society in the favelas touched it too; they kissed it and bathed it with their tears while the Archbishop listened to their stories.
Now it is well-known that silver turns dark when it comes into contact with humidity, and it is therefore little wonder if that cross, clenched by so many hands, kissed by so many lips, and bathed by so many tears, would eventually become dark. It is as if the world’s suffering had been impressed on it, darkening it.
On his way home, the Archbishop would hold the cross tightly and ask God to lift all the enormous weight of suffering afflicting the people he had visited, and transfer it onto the cross in his hands, asking Christ for help and solace.
The pectoral cross we see on the Pope, therefore, gradually became his inseparable companion during these journeys of his into the hell and suffering of the favelas. We need not be surprised, therefore, that he was determined to keep it, against tradition and protocol, once he became Pope.
This cross portrays the Good Shepherd. Jesus is in the foreground, a lamb on his shoulders; behind, and following him, there is the herd of sheep. A dove flies above, recalling the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Good Shepherd is a good image for Pope Francis because he is a model of joy, forgiveness and the love that Jesus has for the entire Church and the world.
Also, please visit our shop to browse our vast collection of Rare & Precious Holy Medals, Sacred Statuary, Handmade Jewelry, And Heavenly Vintage:
Size: 1 5/8" long x just under 1 1/8" wide
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