The Basilica on the Feast of the Cathedra of St. Peter

UPDATE!  It’s baaaaack!  The papal tiara, or triregno is back on the head of the bronze statue of St. Peter in the Basilica today.  For the last couple years, it was politically correctly absent.

Here are photos I have shot in the Basilica on this feast day.

You can see the candles on Bernini’s mighty bronzes for the Altar of the Chair. Tragically that was ripped out some years ago. I was there the morning they did it and watched them haul it away in chunks.

And something to delight us all

The famous statue used to be dressed up on 22 February and 29 June. They used to use the tiara and the cotta griccia … but no more.

Here is a link to my entry last year on the Mass prayers for today.

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27 Responses to The Basilica on the Feast of the Cathedra of St. Peter

  1. Jon says:

    6:20 a.m. The alarm goes off at 6:15. My eyes pop open. Could it be THE day? I smell the coffee my wife’s already making downstairs. I get up, and go blinkingly into the room of my seventh-grader and rouse him for school. Then, I stumble down the hall into my office. I pause, say a prayer, sit down, and click!

    Usquequo, Domine?

  2. Jordan Potter says:

    So whose idea was it to desecrate a priceless work of art and treasure of the whole human race like Bernini’s altar, and just how many centuries in Purgatory will he have to spend because of it?

  3. UPDATE! It’s baaaaack! The papal tiara, or triregno is back on the head of the bronze statue of St. Peter in the Basilica today. For the last couple years, it was politically correctly absent.

    Huzzah! And it had been gone only a couple of years, because I’m sure I’ve seen it on the statue within the past 3 or 4 years.

  4. AM says:

    Now to get it back on the head of the Holy Father himself…

  5. Fabrizio says:

    YES! YES! YES!

    (Now, can we please see it used again also by its REAL owner? (No huh? Just once, pretty please ?! )

    ;-))

  6. Greetings, Fr. Z.,

    I notice that the six candles and the standing crucifix are back on the high altar under the baldichino, too. Or am I mistaken?

    How long has that been the case? I am delighted to see it, and seemed to have missed it when this happened.

  7. RBrown says:

    (Now, can we please see it used again also by its REAL owner? (No huh? Just once, pretty please ?! )

    ;-))
    Comment by Fabrizio

    NB: The coat of arms of BXVI has a episcopal mitre, and so I wonder whether he’ll ever wear the tiara.

  8. surge says:

    Dressing up stautes is approved of. Do you have any photos of the Sampietrini placing and removing the candles – that helps to give an idea of the scale of The Glory and of their foolhardiness.

    God Bless our Holy Father, now gloriously reigning.

  9. Alex says:

    I was upon the magnificent St. Peter’s cupola a few months ago, and the Coat of Arms of flowers near the papal residence and diplomatic office, in the gardens behind St. Peter’s do have a tiara above the coat of arms of Benedict XVI. I guess the gardener is a traditionalist, as in most other places – besides in the Fraternity of St. Peter’s church and the church where Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer lies – I saw the silly episcopal three-leveled mitre.

    The demolishing of the (Westward) celebration altar for non-popes (and popes in less high masses) in the past and of the ornaments of the Petri Cathedra, is a scandal, a crime against art and the heritage of humanity. Tells you a lot about the occupants of the Vatican City of these days. Sadly.

  10. Antonio says:

    The flag used by the Pontifical Swiss Guards always has the coat of arms of the reigning pontiff in it, and, in that flag, the coat of arms of the present Holy Father is surmounted, not by the Mitre, but by the traditional Tiara.

  11. RBrown says:

    I thought they just use the Vatican flag, with the Papal coat of arms (tiara, keys, and red cord), not the coat of arms of a specific pope.

  12. Antonio says:

    I´m not talking about the Vatican Flag, in which the arms of the Holy See are seen. I´m talking about the Flag of the Pontifical Swiss Guards.

  13. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    I,like a previous poster, noticed the Big Six and crucifix are back on the papal altar…if that’s recent, that’s a HUGE signal.

  14. Jon says:

    If the “Big six and crucifix” are back, could you possibly get over there and post a picture for us, Father?

  15. Jon says:

    Father,

    Oh, and Thanks!

  16. Ted Krasnicki says:

    Altar of the Chair was ripped out? Why was that done? If that was done in the name of Vatican II, something is deeply wrong with the Church.

  17. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    I read it was done by the combination of Cardinal Virgilio Noe (now retired but then the Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica), and our beloved Archbishop Piero Marini, Papal Master of Ceremonies. They pressured JP II to allow for it. Much to his discredit, John Paul II went along with it. It was around 1994 or so that the beautiful Altar of the Chair was ripped right out of the wall and the ugly “Vatican II” table put in it’s place.

    Cardinal Noe and Archbishop Marini are both protogees of the infamous Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the man who singlehandedly almost destroyed Catholic tradition and created the “Novus Ordo”.

    Maybe Pope Benedict XVI will restore the altar. Destroying it I thought was a crime….after what, 490 years? Terrible. But then again, what happend in St. Peters’ has happened in tens of thousands of parishes around the world.

    I hope the momentum starts swinging in the direction of restoration of Cahtolic tradition now.

  18. Andrew says:

    I had always though that the big six and the altar crucifix are always arrayed that way when the altar is not used.

    Now that St. Peter has his tiara back, perhaps his successor might be persuaded to give it a go?
    Wink, wink =)

  19. RBrown says:

    I´m not talking about the Vatican Flag, in which the arms of the Holy See are seen. I´m talking about the Flag of the Pontifical Swiss Guards.

    That uses the shield of BXVI. But his personal coat of arms has a mitre and pallium.

  20. ThePerpetualMalcontent says:

    perhaps his holiness would find time to celebrate an Eastern rite Divine Liturgy where the celebrant wears a crown instead of a mitre. it would be a nice excuse to actually wear the triregno.

  21. Andrew says:

    The Pope wears Latin Rite vestments when celebrating or concelebrating the Divine Liturgy in an Eastern Rite.

    This can be seen when Pope John Paul visited the Ukraine and celebrated the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy which Jeffrey Wills, spokesperson for the UGCC press service, called “the largest gathering of people in history for a Byzantine liturgy.” Father Borys Gudziak, rector of the Lviv Theological Institute, referring to the Byzantine tradition in which everybody takes part in singing the liturgy, called it the “largest choir ever assembled.”

    Click here to find photos of the event.

  22. Justin says:

    I was in Rome a few years ago on this feast and did not find the crown of St. Peter’s head. I am glad it is back, and hope that Pope Benedict will soon wear it. However, I don’t think it is coming back soon. Look what happened when he uesd the camauro. He used it once, and never again. What would they say, if he would use the papal crown?

  23. ThePerpetualMalcontent says:
  24. Daniel says:

    There is a picture on the Dapple Things photo blog in the tiara section where John XIII is wearing the tiara while celebrating an eastern right. Granted he wore it at other times, but he is wearing it specifically for that liturgy in the photo. Thought that I would throw that out there.

  25. Calvin Pitts says:

    Yours is a very informative site which I just discovered.
    I’ve been reading Malachi Martin lately.
    Any comments about his strong position against Vatican II and its harmful effects on the traditions of the Church?
    What has brought about this change in the Church?
    Calvin Pitts