Griccia and gricia

Over HERE (and in my email) some people are confused about my reference to a camicia griccia.  The sacristans of St. Peter’s Basilica used to dress Arnulfo di Cambio’s statue of St. Peter also with the camicia griccia on 29 June and 22 February.

A camicia is an alb.  Griccia (not to be confused with gricia) is a technique of ironing into tight pleats in two, perpendicular directions.

My friend John Sonnen has a good photo at his blog of what the result is.  HERE


And…  Enrico Dante in one…

They are extremely rare now, because a) Paul VI abolished it and b) well… they were thrown away and c) people forgot how to do it.

Once in many many years ago I met an old nun who showed me how to do it.  She used an interesting scissor-like ironing-clamp with lots of zigzags.   I believe that she and every other nun who did that stuff venerated Paul VI for the rest of their lives.   The cynic in me says that Paul abolished griccia to secure the nun vote forever,

And gricia is a pre-Columban Roman method of preparing pasta (one of my favorites).


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I just looked up a recipe for pasta alla gricia.

    Really? You had to post this on a Friday? You had to make me wait until tomorrow to try this?

  2. APX says:

    I’m confident that every person who had to iron one of those worked off their time in Purgatory in the process.

  3. Christopher Meier: Those of us in Madison who are assisting at the Pontifical Mass have a dispensation from Friday penance from the Extraordinary Ordinary. Come to Madison, and you can have spaghetti alla gricia!

  4. Ellen says:

    Those pleats look like the ones in the Delphos gowns designed by Fortuny.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Father, I was one confused, as noted. Thanks for the photos. I wondered about this….gorgeous.

    I was taught by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who had a pie-plate headdress, as we called it. That took ages to starch, fit and iron. Here is a photo.

  6. Matt Robare says:

    But the poor lacemakers, on the other hand . . .

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