List of papal tiaras in existence

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The papal tiara is the crown of the pope. For over a thousand years all popes were crowned with some kind of a tiara in a papal coronation. The tiara is still one of the key symbols of the papacy, and features on the coat of arms of the Holy See and of Vatican City State. Pope Benedict XVI had replaced the tiara on his official coat of arms with a traditional bishop's mitre and the pallium, symbols of the Pontiff's authority as Bishop of Rome.

Though people talk of the tiara, there are in fact over twenty surviving tiaras in existence. The earliest dates from the sixteenth century, the latest from 2016. Eleven of them are held in the Vatican and two are permanently on display in the United States at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. and at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Indiana at the University of Notre Dame.

The most recently made papal tiara was donated to Pope Francis in 2016.

List of papal tiaras still in existence[edit]

List of papal tiaras
# Name Year Notes
1 Tiara of Pope Gregory XIII 1572-1585 The oldest surviving papal tiara in existence.
2 Papier-mâché Tiara 1800 Made for Pope Pius VII exiled coronation in Venice
3 Tiara of Pope Pius VII 1804 The "Napoleon Tiara" from Napoleon I, marking his wedding to Josephine; by Henry August and Marie-Etienne Nitot, House of Chaumet, Paris. Some of the jewels and decoration for this tiara came from earlier tiaras smashed and stolen by the troops of the French Directory in 1798. The tiara was made deliberately too small, and at 18 pounds (8 kg) too heavy, for the pope to wear.
4 Tiara of Pope Pius VII 1820 image
5 Tiara of Pope Gregory XVI 1834 One of the most worn in the papal collection.
6 Tiara of Pope Gregory XVI 1845
7 Tiara of Pope Gregory XVI date unknown Lightweight version of a tiara.
8 Tiara of Pope Pius IX 1846 Coronation tiara.
9 Tiara of Pope Pius IX 1855 The "Spanish Tiara" from Queen Isabella II of Spain.
10 Tiara of Pope Pius IX late 1850s from the Congregation of Holy Cross. On permanent display in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
11 Tiara of Pope Pius IX 1871 The "Belgian Tiara" from the women of the Royal Court of the King of the Belgians by Jean Baptiste Bethume of Ghent.
12 Tiara of Pope Pius IX 1870s Lightweight tiara.
13 Tiara of Pope Pius IX 1877 The "Palatine Tiara" from the Holy See's Palatine Guard in honour of Pope Pius's jubilee. It was used at virtually every papal coronation through Pope John XXIII.
14 Tiara of Pope Leo XIII 1887 The "German Tiara" from Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany in commemoration of the Pope's Golden Jubilee as a priest.
15 Tiara of Pope Leo XIII 1888 The "Paris Tiara" from the Catholics of Paris to celebrate the Pope's Golden Jubilee. By François-Désiré Froment-Meurice. (image)
16 Tiara of Pope Leo XIII 1894 The "Austrian Tiara" from Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria.
17 Tiara of Pope Leo XIII 1903 The "Golden Tiara" given by the Vicar-General of Rome on behalf of the world's Catholics to commemorate the Pope's Silver Jubilee as pope. (image)
18 Tiara of Pope Pius X 1908 By papal jewellers Tatani to commemorate the Pope's golden jubilee of his ordination as a priest. Made because the pope found other tiaras too heavy.
19 Tiara of Pope Pius XI 1922 Donated by the people of Desio, where Pope Pius XI was born (near Milan).
20 Tiara of Pope Pius XI 1922 From the Archdiocese of Milan.
21 Tiara of Pope John XXIII 1959 From the people of Bergamo, his home region, in honour of his election as pope.
22 Tiara of Pope Paul VI 1963 Made by the artisans of his former archdiocese, Milan. On permanent display in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
23 Tiara of Pope John Paul II
(Hungarian Tiara)
1981 Presented to Pope John Paul II by Catholics in the then Communist state of Hungary. As neither John Paul II nor his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, has worn any papal tiara, this tiara remains unworn. (image)
24 Tiara of Pope Benedict XVI 2011 Presented to Benedict XVI on 25 May 2011 by a group of German Roman Catholics,[1] made by Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Christians[1]
25 Tiara of Pope Francis 2016 Presented to Pope Francis on 16 May 2016 by the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Trajko Veljanovski. It was made by the nuns of the monastery of Rajcica, with Ohrid pearl.[2]

Note: Because the donation of tiaras was often a private matter not announced by the person making the donation, it is unknown whether any subsequent papal tiaras have been donated. The existence of the Hungarian Tiara, though long rumoured, was only confirmed when images of it were shown in the media.

Pope Paul VI decided not to wear his tiara again in a gesture of humility and put it up for sale with the proceeds to be given to the poor. The bishops of the United States bought it and put it on public display together with a gold lace papal stole of saint John XXIII at the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. Paul VI's 1975 Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo envisaged that his successor would be crowned. However, Pope John Paul I chose instead a coronation-less papal inauguration. Pope John Paul II's 1996 Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis spoke only of an inauguration, without specifying the form it should take.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b David Kerr (May 25, 2011), ”Germans present Pope Benedict with his own papal crown”, Catholic News Agency
  2. ^ Tornielli, Andrea (17 May 2016). "A Tiara for Every Pope". Vatican Insider. La Stampa. Retrieved 13 December 2016.