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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Where did you get that hat???

The Pope appears to be developing a habit of turning heads by arriving for public appearances in unusual hats.

Today Benedict XVI appeared at a Vatican audience sporting a wide-brimmed red hat, known in Italian as a saturno, because its wide lip resembles the rings around the planet Saturn. It is also affectionately known as a platter hat.

Pilgrims in a sun-drenched St Peter’s Square had a splendid view of the pontiff in his new headgear as he stood, waving, in the car driving him to his weekly audience. Possibly made uncomfortable by the heat, the pontiff later took it off.

The last time that Benedict appeared in a new hat was at a Vatican audience in December, when he donned a fur-trimmed number called a camauro, resembling a Father Christmas hat and popular with pontiffs in the 17th century.

The rounded saturno hat that he sported today was last seen in public on the head of Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963. John, a hat fan, was so keen on the camauro that he was buried with one.

Benedict's latest style is in a long tradition of wide-brimmed clerical hats. The strangest is probably the Cardinals' galero, a very large, very flat piece of headgear hung with enormous tassels. This is the famous red hat once presented to new Cardinals and which traditionally hung over their tombs. Even though the galero is no longer presented to new Cardinals by the Pope, some acquire one anyway, just to have something to hang from their cathedral ceiling.

The smaller saturno is sometimes also referred to as a galero (as, for instance, in the old Ceremonial of Bishops), or as a capello romano, or Roman hat.

Times Online Newsdesk
Wednesday, September 06, 2006 at 12:58 PM


Ann said...

Goes with the Prada shoes.

B Hip said...

Yes Ann I quite agree but I do think it rather a lack of pastoral sensitivity to deny us a look at the shoes AND the bag. This is not a generous spirit.

Eileen said...

This is what he spends money on? I wonder how much these hats cost?


It certainly does make him "visible" though.

Lisa said...

Now, if only the Bishop of Rome got to wear purple (as our bishops and pope-wanna-bes do), he would be well attired for the next meeting of the Red Hat Society. Wouldn't that be sweet?