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 Home > Crypt Church

Papal Exhibit

The display of two papal gifts is housed on the bridge joining Memorial Hall and the Hall of American Saints.

The gold metallic embroidered stole of Pope John XXIII was given to him on his 80th birthday, Nov. 25, 1961, by Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York. The pontiff wore this stole at the convocation of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in 1962. On the day of his death, the Holy Father instructed his private secretary to return the stole to Cardinal Spellman ''as a token of [his] esteem and affection for the hierarchy, clergy, religious, and faithful of the United States." Pope John XXIII was beatified Sept. 3, 2000.

Less than four months after his June 30, 1963 coronation, Pope Paul VI laid this tiara on the altar of St. Peter's and announced that he was giving it to the poor of the world. Cardinal Spellman, requested the honor of obtaining the tiara and putting it to use for the poor. In recognition of the generosity of the American people to the hungry and dispossessed peoples of the world, the request was granted. On Feb. 6, 1968, Archbishop Luigi Raimondi, Apostolic Delegate to the United States, in his presentation of the papal tiara to the National Shrine, spoke of the Pope's action on that November day in 1964 as a manifestation of the "renunciation of human glory and power" and as "the new spirit of the Church purified." The tiara is displayed at this church of pilgrimage, as a perennial invitation to follow the path marked by the Vicar of Christ. The Shrine contributes donation proceeds annually to the Holy Father's fund for the poor.

Prayers for the Holy Father
God, our Father, we ask You to look with mercy and love
on your servant, Benedict XVI,
whom You have chosen
to govern Your Church and shepherd Your people.

May he, through word and through example,
direct, sustain and encourage the people in his care,
so that with them he may share
everlasting life in Your kingdom. Amen.

May the Lord preserve our Holy Father, Benedict XVI.
May He give him life and protect him in this life
and reserve for him the reward of the just. Amen.