New Benedictine Ferula

NLM has this:

Tomorrow Pope Benedict will celebrate Pontifical Vespers as the first Vespers of the first Sunday of Advent, which also marks the beginning of the new liturgical year.

On this occasion, the Holy Father will begin to use a new pastoral staff. As Msgr. Guido Marini, the Papal Master of Ceremonies, tells tomorrow’s edition of the Osservatore Romano:

Similar in shape to the ferula of Pius IX so far in use this can be considered to all intents and purposes the pastoral staff of Benedict XVI.

Like the ferula of Bl. Pius IX in 1877, the new staff is donated to the Pontiff by the Circolo San Pietro, a Roman association founded in 1869 in support of the papacy. It is slightly smaller and lighter than the ferula of Bl. Pius IX.
On the front side of the new ferula is depicted in the centre the Lamb of God, and on the four points of the cross, the symbols of the four Evangelists. The arms of the cross are decorated in a net-like pattern which evokes the fisherman whose successor Pope Benedict is. On the backside there is in the centre the Chi-Rho, the monogram of Christ, and on the four points of the cross, four Fathers of Occident and Orient, Augustine and Ambrose, Athanasius and John Chrysostom, the same who also carry Bernini’s cathedra. On the top of the shaft is the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Melania says:

    EWTN is broadcasting the Pontifical Vespers tomorrow night. We should be able to see this ferula.

  2. DominiSumus says:

    I can’t wait to see him use it.

  3. asperges says:

    Thank God for a Pope with good taste.

  4. Joe Gallaher says:

    Hello Father I hope you are feeling better. My son Patrick,along with his fellow school mates will be attending Vespers with the Holy Father.I told him to pray for you and all priests as well.Thank you for all your blogging work.May God Bless you.

  5. chonak says:

    Here are the times on EWTN:

    From St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Vespers for the start of the Season of Advent.
    Sat 11/28/09 11:00 AM ET / 8 AM PT
    Sat 11/28/09 6:00 PM ET / 3 PM PT

  6. irishgirl says:

    Cool! I’ll have to tune in while I’m here at the library!

    asperges-yes, our Papa and German Shepherd does have good taste!

  7. Sid says:

    Someone ed-cha-kate me: Why does the pope not carry a shepherd’s staff as do other bishops?

  8. Thomas S says:


    Someone will correct me if I’m wrong or incomplete in my answer, but I believe it has to do with the crosier symbolizing a local ordinary’s jurisdiction, whereas the Holy Father is universal pastor, not limited to one locality.

  9. Mitchell NY says:

    Watching Vespers now. This Ferula fits well with the overall setting and tone of St. Peter’s and this Pontificate. The new Ferula is a beeter example of continuity than the Paul VI staff that was used previously. And for anyone with harsh critiques which I have read on other web sites let’s remember the “crooked” staff could have been pulled out of the closet again. So let’s be thankful.

  10. Next up: the Benedictine Tiara!

    …I wish.

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    This Ferula looks appropriate for Pope Benedict XVI. Long live Pope Benedict!

  12. Vetdoctor says:

    The 4 oriental doctors on the back. Are we claiming them or honoring them (most likely both).

  13. Heather says:

    I hope this one permanently replaces the Paul VI Ferula…please Lord let it be so.

  14. edwardo3 says:

    The new Ferula is beautiful, and I hope much easier for the Holy Father to use. There have been times when Pius IX’s seemed a bit much for him. A Tiara would be wonderful, but I will be very happy with the Sedia Gestatoria. I was too young to remember John Paul I using it.

  15. I like the idea of the sedia gestatoria too, in addition to the tiara. I say, bring ’em both back!

    I like the idea of the revival of the tiara as a sign that playtime is over.

    (But not the bullet-shaped tiara of Paul VI.)

  16. Sacristymaiden says:

    Yes, yes! Bring back the tiara!

  17. irishgirl says:

    Yes! I want to see the tiara, too!

    ‘Playtime is over’…good one, Anita!

Comments are closed.