In contrast to the more gaudy traditional styles championed by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI—who was no stranger to a pop of color, to say the least— Pope Francis typically dons simple black shoes with the all-white cassock, the ankle length garment he’s shown in here, he wears during informal functions. The cassock is traditionally worn with a coordinating mozzetta, a short cape that symbolizes his authority.
The Pope also frequently sports a stole, a wide piece of fabric worn draped across the shoulders.
The Pope often dons colorful vestments to align with the nature of the occasion. The green robe he’s wearing here, paired with a papal pallium—the tie-like band around his neck and shoulders—and a mitre, the ceremonial headwear, typically signal that it’s ordinary time or occasions where no other color is appropriate.
The Pope’s red robes are worn during celebrations of Jesus’ sacrifice and to symbolize the blood spilled by martyrs.
Pope Francis, like many pontiffs before him, wears a long-chained cross around his neck. His cross, however, is much more modest than those of his predecessors who wore gold and bejeweled crosses. Pope Francis’ cross is silver and is said to depict Jesus holding a lamb.
The pope’s white skull cap, formally known as the zucchetto, a head covering worn by members of the clerical hierarchy. Only the Pope can wear a white zucchetto.
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