January 21, 2013
(Romereports.com) These small lambs which Benedict XVI petted inside the Vatican's Urban VIII Chapel have a very important mission. Their wool will be used to build the pallia bestowed upon the metropolitan archbishopson June 29, the feast day of St. Peter and St. Paul.
The Latin word for lamb is agnus, the root for the female name Agnes. Henceforth, during the feast day of St. Agnes, January 21, this ceremony takes place, where the lambs, blessed at the Rome's St. Anges Basilica, are then presented to the Pope.
The people tasked with raising the lambs are the monks from Abadia di Tre Fontane, while the people responsible for shearing them and knitting the pallia are Benedictine Nuns of St. Cecilia.
The pallium is an honor bestowed upon the Pope and the archbishops. It consists of a white wool sash that drapes around the shoulders, with six black wool crosses embroidered longways.