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Jesuits - Euro-Mediterranean Province
Historical Archives Curiosities and news A papalina belonging to Pio X

A papalina belonging to Pio X

Two years later, the archive column returns to the subject of Pope Pius X, and today we present another relic of the Holy Pontiff.

The Historical Archive has recently received a transfer from the Gesù Nuovo in Naples, where the Fund of the Neapolitan Province was kept until the early 2000s; papers concerning the Conocchia, the Sozi-Carafa Apostolic College and School in Vico- Equense, and the Gesù Nuovo community itself stand out.

All the documentation is about to be gathered in the historical archive of the Euro-Mediterranean Province at the disposal of scholars.

In addition to the papers, a new object, the protagonist of today’s column, has also been deposited in the archive.

Visible in the photo that accompanies the text, Pius X’s papalina had been kept in the Sozi – Carafa apostolic school in Vico-Equense, which closed in 1969 and became the probation house, novitiate and residence of the Neapolitan Province until the Jesuits left Vico Equense.

The ‘presence’ of the Holy Pontiff in our archive is also ensured by other testimonies, such as his red silk kerchief but also a photograph of him taken during a visit to the Noble Mondragone College.

The papalina, like its ‘colleague’ the red silk handkerchief, is also a Class II relic, which came into direct contact with the saint and is therefore even more precious.

The relic is kept in a wooden reliquary, protected by glass, which bears at the top the symbol of the Holy See: the crossed keys of St. Peter’s. It was decided to leave it in its original location where it had been placed on the occasion of the gift; inside the reliquary, in fact, there is also the authentication of the relic itself.

The gift made by the Pontiff to the College bears witness to the bond of closeness between the Pontiff and the Society of Jesus, which can also be verified in the affection that the communities bestowed on him on the occasion of his election to the Papal Throne, visits, public and private audiences.

The second photo shows the Pontiff’s blessing and an image of him to the editors and managers of some Balkan Catholic magazines.

Special thanks is due to the Jesuits of the Gesù Nuovo community, who wanted to allocate the relic to the Historical Archive to ensure its preservation and use by visitors and researchers.

Maria Macchi