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The Pope’s Ring – Holy Cow!

The pope’s ring is also known as the The Fisherman’s Ring. It is an official seal, exclusive only to him. When the acting pope leaves, traditionally, the ring is broken with a hammer.


As vice president of the Roman Guild of Goldsmiths, Claudio Franchi was commissioned to make the ring when Benedict was elected in 2005. He said reports that the ring will be destroyed are a mistranslation of the Italian word “biffatura,” which means “to cross out.”

“The ring is marked with a cross on the upper part as a symbol of the end of the papacy,” he said. “It is not destroyed.”

The chosen design for Benedict ring was inspired by a Michelangelo painting. The final concept required more than 200 sketches and colored drawings. It depicts St. Peter, who was a fisherman, and carries the inscription “Benedictus XVI,” the pope’s official title in Latin. The elliptical shape represents the piazza in front of St Peter’s Basilica, laid out by the sculptor Bernini in the 17th century.

The ring is 35 grams of pure gold. It took eight artisans working 15 hours a day for two weeks to make it.

Source: CBS News