June, 29, 2011. (Romereports.com)
The pope has commemorated his 60th anniversary as a priest with a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Benedicto XVI“It is a time of thanksgiving: thanks to the Lord for the friendship that he has bestowed upon me and that he wishes to bestow upon us all. Thanks to the people who have formed and accompanied me.”
It was also one of the main feasts of the Catholic Church, held in celebration of Saints Peter and Paul. On this feast day, the pope receives the newest archbishops named in the past year and presents each one with a pallium. This year, there were 40.
The pallium is a white scarf made of wool that carries six black crosses, it's meant to symbolize each bishop's unity with the pope. Benedicto XVI“It reminds us of him who took the lamb – humanity – me – upon his shoulders, in order to carry me home. It thus reminds us that we too, as shepherds in his service, are to carry others with us, taking them as it were upon our shoulders and bringing them to Christ”.
At the beginning of the Mass each pallium is laid over the tomb of St. Peter and then handed to the pope before being presented.
This year 40 archbishops took part in the ceremony. They come from all over the world. But the countries sending the most delegates is the USA with four archbishops and Brazil with seven. Among the Archbishops was Jose Gomez from Los Angeles, the leader of the largest archdiocese in America. There was also James Sartain from Seattle, Ruben Gomez of Colombia, Oscar Vian Morales of Guatemala, George Stack of Wales in the United Kingdom, Thaddeus Cho Hwan-Kil of South Korea, and Ricardo Andrello from Santiago, Chile.
Arnolfo di Cambio's ancient bronze statue of Saint Peter is decorated for the ceremony. It's adorned with papal ornaments, the tiara and the ring of the fisherman.