The Investiture of Pallium
This year Pope Francis changed the way in which palliums were distributed to new metropolitan Archbishops. The pallium is a liturgical vestment comprised of strips of white wool embroidered with black crosses, held together with pins and worn over the shoulders of Archbishops at solemn events (see the image above).
About 40 new archbishops traveled to Rome to receive their pallium from Pope Francis who presided over the Holy Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on 29 June, 2015, the feast of Ss Peter and Paul.
The pallium symbolizes the sheep which the Good Shepherd bore on His shoulder and the bond between the Archbishops and the Pope. When worn by the Pope, the pallium signifies the fullness of his office and authority. When worn by Archbishops, it symbolises their unity with the Pope and their role as shepherds and their ties to one another and to the Pope.
Every year the Pope places the pallium around the neck of each new Archbishop, but this year the Holy Father simply blessed them and presented it to them. The Archbishops take their pallium back home to their region or Archdiocese and the imposition will be done by the papal Nuncio in the presence of the faithful as well as bishops from the neighbouring diocese.
As for our Archbishop Julian Leow, the investiture of the pallium will be held during the Mass at St John’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur when he is back from Rome. We may then have an opportunity to witness this rare and significant ceremony which will take place on Sunday, 2 August, 2015.
As a faith community, let us pray and join our Holy Father in his aspiration that the new Archbishops will be faithful witnesses and be men of prayer to care for the flock entrusted to them.
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you” (Jn 21:17).