The Pope and silicone wrist bands – heh heh!

From Vatican Radio:

(Vatican Radio). We’ve all noticed the yellow band Pope Francis has been wearing on his wrist since his election.
A simple rubber band [aren’t they actually silicon?] that photographers and media have brought to the attention of the public as we all get to know our new Pope and observe him as he goes about his papal committments and appearances.
Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni asked the man who gave the Pope this unusual gift to tell her something about it.
He is Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, Archbishop of Durban in South Africa. He handed it to Pope Francis when he met with the College of Cardinals on the day following his election as Pope.

Cardinal Napier explains that a year or two ago one of his priests decided to create a special symbolic object for the season of Lent. Something to remind people to make a special commitment for lent, to remind them that they’ve made this committment. He decided on a black band and on a purple band with the word “Sacrificium” printed on them because – says Cardinal Napier – “that’s how our lenten campaign goes: make a sacrifice, give to the poor”.
So when it came to the Year of Faith, this priest asked the Cardinal whether he should make another band, and Napier said “go ahead”. So what we have got now is the yellow “Year of Faith” band with the words ‘Credo Domine – I believe Lord’. And then there is the symbol of the fish and the cross.
“Very important” – Cardinal Napier points out – the bracelet “goes with a card which on the one side has a prayer for the Year of Faith where we ask God to help us in this Year of Faith to do the things we need to do to really renew our faith; and on the other side there is a committment form in which you commit to undertake the things to do”.
The band – or bracelet – is produced by St. Joseph’s Parish in Cardinal Napier’s Diocese.
Cardinal Napier says that when he gave Pope Francis the band, he immediately asked what it was about. “He took it out of its box and immediately put it on his wrist“, notwithstanding his assistant was waiting to take it… At lunch, on one of the days subsequent to that, he took it off and showed the Cardinals sitting at table with him and explained to them its meaning and its origin…

Heh heh… he’s going to be inundated with a zillion of these bracelets for every possible parish choir fundraiser.  They will have to hire a new Monsignor in the Apostolic Household to keep track of them.

Since Popes now tweet, and since they now wear these bands, were Francis to sponsor one himself and then use the proceeds to help the poor of Rome….  I’m just sayin’….

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Potato2 says:

    Isn’t that like the WWJD bracelets of the 90s and the “Livestrong bracelets” Lets hope it ends better for him than Lance Armstrong.
    Further proving that America’s capitalism is 20 years ahead of the rest of the world.
    Next, Pope Francis learns that the Beatles are no longer together.

    This is quickly becoming the pontificate of gimmicks, and cliche.

  2. Philangelus says:

    If Pope Francis were to sell them, I would buy one in a heartbeat. :-)

  3. UncleBlobb says:

    And your last shrewd statements demonstrate yet again why they should hire you again in the Curia, Father. …I’m just sayin’! :) (Not necessarily to keep track of the bracelets, though.)

  4. weneleh says:

    Forgive me, Father Z, ’cause I’m sure I’ve sinned, but I’m with Philangelus. I’d buy one in a heartbeat. And then I might even wear it.

  5. LarryW2LJ says:

    I’d buy one that had “WDTPRS” on it; or perhaps “Say the Black. Do the Red”

  6. McCall1981 says:

    @ Potato2
    “This is quickly becoming the pontificate of gimmicks, and cliche.”
    I understand why you are concerned about this, but I think our perception of these kinds of actions by Pope Francis is getting distorted by the ridiculous media coverage. For instance: his going to the youth prison for Holy Thursday. The media will be all over it saying he’s the Pope of change and such, but imagine if he did the exact same thing with no obnoxious media at all. It would appear much more sincere and legitimate to us. We understandably don’t like to have to put up with all of the stuff the media implies, but we have to remember that these things aren’t Francis’ doing.
    Put another way, if Francis of Assisi or Vincent de Paul, or someone like that was dropped into the modern world, they would seem like a “cliche”, and be presented by the media as such, too. But through no fault of their own.
    Mother Theresa was made into a cliche by the media, but I don’t think any of us would doubt her sincerity. They harped on her social justice and ignored her reverent spirituality and will be doing the same to Pope Francis, but we shouldn’t let that cloud our picture of him.

  7. When will they be in the Fr. Z store?

  8. catholicmidwest says:

    If the Church doesn’t market them, someone else will. Just saying.

  9. DCMArg says:

    I wonder what the special commitment for Lent of Pope Francis is.

  10. NBW says:

    “Heh heh… he’s going to be inundated with a zillion of these bracelets for every possible parish choir fundraiser. They will have to hire a new Monsignor in the Apostolic Household to keep track of them.”

    Father, you made my day! I laughed so hard!

  11. Potato2 says:

    Nice name! You share it with a small town in my state.
    I do get your point. And I hope you are right. I sincerly doubt either saint you mentioned would don a wristband.
    The newspaper cancellation story is bordering on ridiculous. Will we cheer when he takes the power bill out of his name too? ” Pope sneezes! What an example of humility!”
    However, disagreeing with Fr Z I actually like the Thursday Mass at the “Prison.” I think it is a great example of charity and humbleness.

    However. Honestly, I have not been elated or even happy at all since the name was announced. It would not be a stretch to say that I am disappointed and even worried about this new Pope.
    Some have suggested that the reason the Pope did not distribute the Eucharist at his innaguration to the general public is that he did not want to have the problem of the Bidens and Pelosis of the world. If that is even part of the reason then we are in BIG trouble. Is this man humble? Or is it an act of cowardice and a failure of leadership? Time will tell. But I can tell you that as of now I do not “Love” this Pope. I don’t buy it. There is something going on. Some people were saying that we need a Pope who can navigate this tech savy media world we live in. Round one. Media 100 Pope Francis 0. But at least he has his twitter account up and running. We need a Shepard, a papa, not a gimmick “Oprah” Pope.

  12. Eraser says:

    @McCall1981: very well stated. People are reading far, far too much into everything the Pope does or doesn’t do. Good grief, the man’s been in office for barely over a week.

    I’m with the others – I’d buy one myself.

  13. McCall1981 says:

    I’ve noticed a pattern in myself that when I read something about him in “the media” I become very anxious and even scared. But when I read one of his homilies, or look only at what he’s actually doing, I feel better.

    For instance, if you’re feeling anxious, go back and read his first homily to the Cardinals. He stresses the primacy of Christ crucified, says that the Church can’t be an NGO, and mentions spiritual warfare kinds of things. And keep in mind that this was less than a week ago, when he was introducing his spirituality to the Cardinals (and Church).

    That said, I’m still anxious about him too, and completely agree that the last thing we need is an “Oprah Pope”. My point about Francis of Assisi is that, were he somehow alive and Pope today, I think the media would present him as an Oprah Pope too, though we know he would not actually be that.

  14. McCall1981 says:

    Saw this quote on CAF, and it shows exactly what I’m saying about how the media will trivialize and twist Francis into an Oprah Pope.

    “I was watching CNN earlier during lunch, and I saw a clip of Pope Francis sitting beside Bartholomew I…and guess what the headline was?
    “Pope cancels newspaper subscription”

    Here we have a major world Christian event of Catholic and Orthodox coming together, but the media turns it into a “cute” cliche story about his newspaper subscription. I agree that those kinds of stories are becoming obnoxious, but we have to keep in mind that Francis can’t control what they seize on or how they spin it.

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  16. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Is the Year of Faith band meant to be ‘Papal’ yellow? (and, is there a specific correct (range of) shade(s) of yellow for the Vatican City flag?)

    Presumably, one of the references is Mark 9:24.

  17. Aegidius says:

    What exactly is so ridiculous about those bracelets reminding one of a vow, a sacrifice, or Pope em. Benedict’s year of faith? I really don’t see the fundamental difference between, say, scapulier, a blessed medal, or those silicone wristbands. Don’t you think St. Phllip Neri may have worn them with a good laugh and smile on his face? Shouldn’t we tradition adherents act a little less arrogant – for the sake of credibility of our desires, if not for humilitas and caritas?

  18. Mariana says:

    I’d buy one with To be deep in history is to cease to be protestant!

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