A wonderful tradition

Benedict XVI blessing lambs on St. Agnes Day.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Rob says:

    Dear Father
    Does our pope bless Shepherds as well as lambs as lambing season is fast aproaching on our farm and a blessing or two would not go amiss! Rob

  2. Jason says:

    How many palliums can be made with two sheep?

  3. Thomas says:

    “How many palliums can be made with two sheep?”

    Trick question! Zero. Sheep don’t have fingers.

  4. LA says:

    Are they dead?

  5. LA says:

    or tranquilized? PETA ALERT!

  6. Martin says:

    I read the heading and I thought ‘How cute!’ I was expecting live lambs. But then I guess it’s the joy of being Catholic – a concept quite lost on the world.

  7. Fr. Joe Farrell, OSA talked about this in the homily today. I’d never heard of the tradition. Very cool!

  8. Maureen says:

    Those are live lambs. They’re just very very still lambs.

    I bet what they do is feed the lambs something they like, to the point of satiety. A blissed-out lamb isn’t going to move much. However, I bet there’s been other years when the lambs looked a lot crankier about the whole thing of being bundled into a little sleeping bag and popped into a basket. (Or something like that.)

    I think the nuns used to haul all the lambs over to get blessed or the Pope came over to church and blessed them all, but either that depends on the warmth of the weather or the number of shepherdess nuns.

  9. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I apologise for barging in on this subject but have you gents seen what Rorate Cœli is publishing, updated just a few minutes ago? The withdrawal or annulment of the excommunications is now imminent. We need to stop to pray for it, especially since Bishop Williamson has tried to sabotage everything Bishop Fellay and the Pope are trying to achieve here. No further comment on that but see “The Remnant” for the details.

    This is very exciting. I close in saying that I love all you neo-cons and semi-traditionalists on this blog even if I don’t agree with Fr. Z. on everything (especially liturigcal English, and I speak as a specialist in Mediæval English and teach English at a University but why should that count?). I don’t love you as enemies but as friends! Let’s pray that the Pope is generous in this Octave of Unity and that it all bears good fruit.


  10. Willebrord says:

    Gosh, I also thought that these were actual live sheep.

    With regards to the lifting of the excommunications, I am very curious as to if Lefebvre’s own excommunication has been lifted–as far as I’ve been able to tell, it seems as only the four bishops are ok now.
    I think that this could potentially become an issue for the SSPX, and that some of them might start complaining about Lefebvre’s still being excommunicated. Of course, this wouldn’t be a politically bright thing for them to do, but I wouldn’t wonder if they did that (based on grounds of having seen them beg Rome for lifting the excommunications, then immediately afterwards criticizing Rome).

  11. ckdexterhaven says:

    I’m sorry but I’ve never seen this before. Are those live lambs with a big floral arrangement on their back? Where are their heads?

  12. o.h. says:

    That lamb to his Holiness’ right is apparently named ‘Sam.’

    (Yes, I figured out what it must really mean.)

  13. Bonifacius says:

    I am surprised by the ongoing debate over whether the lambs are alive. Yes, they are alive. They are tied down to the baskets, but they are alive. They also are covered in flowers, but they are alive.

    They will be sheared on Maundy Thursday and slaughtered on Good Friday. Then the sisters eat them for Easter Sunday. The pallia are distributed on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

  14. Mary Jane says:

    Oh dear, I never thought about the sweet lambs being the sisters’ Easter dinner. But such is the life of a lamb.

  15. What a pity that the lambs have to be tied down in such unnatural poses. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate that they be allowed to be lambs and not trussed up as they appear to be. At first I thought they were decorated pieces of cake made to look like lambs.

    PETA wouldn’t be pleased… :)

  16. Christina says:

    Yep, there we have it. The Silence of the Lambs…

  17. Bonifacius says:

    They are trussed up in the posture that they naturally would bed down in. As they must be blessed in churches and the Vatican Palace, they can\’t be permitted to wander, not least of all because we can\’t have them soiling such places. I\’m sure that the baskets have some extra padding in the back for such an occurrence . . .

  18. Michelle Romani says:

    The lambs are live. I think that you might see a smippet of the blessing in the next edition of Rome Reports. Given the fact that Pope Benedict is an animal lover, I don’t think the litle ones would have been harmed. Besides, they are lambs. I did not know; however, that they were going ot be slaughtered and then eaten.

  19. Fr. Steve says:

    Oh, My! Is that lamb on a platter?! Talk about grace before meals.

  20. Alessandro says:

    The lambs are alive, only tied, as you can see, so they don’t leap. And SAM is not a lamb’s name (at leat in Italy it isn’t) but should be “Sancta Agnes Martyr”.

  21. irishgirl says:

    What a sweet picture!

    “Silence of the Lambs”-I love it, Christina!

    Maureen-a well-fed lamb is a happy lamb!

    Alessandro-yep, I can understand why the lambs are tied down. Would be quite a race to catch a ‘leaping lamb’ through the Vatican! [ooo-did I just do a rhyme? : ) ]

  22. Tiny says:

    St. Agnes day? I like the pun!

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