HERE WE LEAVE OUR HEART: ‘The Golden Lily’ gifted by Blessed Pope Paul VI to India in 1964

Giovanni Montini was born on September 26th, 1897 of a wealthy family at Concesio (Lombardy). After his ordination in 1920, he was sent to Rome to study at the Gregorian University and the University of Rome. He was assigned to the office of the Secretariat of State where he remained for the next thirty years.  In 1953, Montini was appointed the Archbishop of Milan. He was soon recognised as the ‘Archbishop of workers.’ In 1958, he was raised to the Cardinalate. On the death of Pope John XXIII, Montini was elected Pope on June 21st, 1963. He took the name Pope Paul VI.

True to the spirit of the Apostle, Pope Paul VI travelled more widely than any of his predecessors and was the first ever Pope to have visited the six continents. He was affectionately called the ‘Pilgrim Pope’ for indeed he was a Pilgrim of Peace and Love to the modern secular world.

On August 11, 1964 Pope Paul VI made a historic helicopter trip (the first by a Pope) to the ancient Umbrian hill town of Orvieto to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Feast of Corpus Christi (or Body and Blood of Christ). This feast was instituted by Pope Urban IV in 1264 on account of the Eucharistic miracle that took place in the town of Bolsena. A Bohemian priest beset by doubts with regards to the Eucharist was restored to faith when the consecrated host began to bleed during Mass. The Altar cloth from Bolsena (stained with the miraculous blood) was brought to Orvieto and is the greatest treasure of its Cathedral.

The Cathedral of Orvieto

Pope Paul VI celebrated the Eucharist at the Cathedral to mark the anniversary. As a token of their love and as a lasting souvenir of the event, the city of Orvieto gifted a Chalice to the Pope. This masterpiece of art and sacred history was executed by the greatly reputed artist Marcello Conticelli also known as ‘the blacksmith of the Pope.’

Spread the love ♥
Continue Reading