Pope Francis eschews tradition with silver ring


Pope Francis AFP

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis has eschewed tradition and chosen a silver Fisherman’s Ring rather than a gold one — and one designed decades ago rather than created specifically for him, the Vatican said Monday.

The gold-plated silver ring, one of the papal symbols that the new pope will receive during the inauguration mass on Tuesday, is modelled on a ring designed by Italian sculptor Enrico Manfrini, who died in 2004, for Paul VI.

“The ring is designed by Manfrini, who created several religious works and it was presented to the pope by the master of ceremonies who had received the model from one of Paul VI’s secretaries,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

Nicknamed “the popes’ sculptor”, Manfrini designed religious objects for several pontiffs, including Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paul II.

The simple ring, customarily worn on the pontiff’s right hand, depicts a bearded and haloed St. Peter holding a pair of keys — an emblem of the papacy which captures the moment Peter was given the keys to heaven.

It was chosen by Francis out of three ring models presented to him, Lombardi said.

“I don’t know if the ring was used by Paul VI. The design stems from that period but it is not physically the same ring. The original ring was melted down but this a ring based on the same design,” he added.

The Fisherman’s Ring originally served as both a symbol of the papacy and a seal, but these days the pope has a separate seal with which to mark documents.

There had been a lot of speculation over what sort of ring Francis would choose, following his decision to reject the papal gold cross necklace for his own simpler one at his first appearance after his election.

“It is not the first time that a pope has chosen to have a ring made of silver,” Claudio Franchi, the Roman goldsmith who crafted the elaborate ring worn by Francis’s predecessor Benedict XVI, told AFP.

“It is quite unusual, however, to use a ring which already exists or has been made based on a design which already exists,” he said.

The Vatican also unveiled the coat of arms and motto Francis will use — which remain the same as those he used as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

The coat of arms shows three symbols on a blue background: at the top, a sun with the letters IHS in the middle — the logo of the Jesuit Society — and underneath a five-point star and a lily, symbolising the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph.

The Latin motto beneath the crest is “miserando atque eligendo” — which refers to a Bible passage showing Jesus Christ’s “mercy” in choosing Matthew, a tax collector, to be one of his disciples.

“The motto recalls Pope Francis’ personal vocation and he wanted to keep it,” Lombardi said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.


    FRANCIS is my kind of guy……down to earth, simple, humble….. walang ka-echosan.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BL2GYU35SO6HTJUEAUTXS3QFYM George Lapulapu

    looks like the CBPC have some humble pie to eat if they have to be in step with Pope Francis… well done Pope Francis

    • WeAry_Bat

      Hehehe, from taking public transport to office then to having simple symbolisms of office. Very simple rebuke and chastisement to our ‘better’ priests.

      • http://twitter.com/YeOldeSnark Dunstan Harding

        It would have been even more symbolic if Pope Francis had rejected both the coat of arms and the ring. Now, upon closer reflection ,perhaps Pope Francis will throw both into the flames at tomorrow’s installation.

        All he needs to do is descend to the confessio of St. Peter, receive the pallium, say a few prayers and process by foot to St. John Lateran, his cathedral church as bishop of Rome. There ascend to his chair (cathedra). To be followed by the installation Mass. Nothing more is needed.

      • walangutak

        He he he! Sana tularan na lang ng papa si mnsgnr. Dakay ng diocese of Cebu na siyang ginawang tagapamahala sa solicitation para sa pa raffle na isang BMW ang mapanalunan sa isang okasyon ng si Pedro Calungsod ay ginawang santo, ay siya ring nanalo dahil sa siya ang may pinakamaraming naisaling raffle ticket. Kanino kayang pera ang ibinili niya ng nasabing mga raffle tickets? Ganyan talaga kakapal ang mga namamahala ng simbahang katoliko. BMW, Basta Monsignor Winner.

      • WeAry_Bat

        Salamat sa report. Sus mio, BMW pa, luxury cars category.

        Ang hindi naisip ng monsignor, kung nalalaman yan ng mga tao, baka kokonti na lang ang mga contribution dahil sa isip ng mga tao, mayaman pala ang simbahan.

        Bawat aksyon ay may kahinatnan. Kung walang pamaraan ang mga pari para kumikita kundi sa contribution, ni wala silang business kasi mey tax, dapat nilang isipin na makuha ang gandang loob ng mga tao.

        Observe mo na lang ang susunod na mga linggo. Nakakaawa isipin maging pulubi ang diocese dahil sa layaw ng kanilang monsignor.

        EDIT: mahal pa naman ang periodic maintenance nun, nasa above P10k to P25k. compare mo sa toyota o honda, less than P5k. layaw talaga, layaw.

  • superpilipinas

    It’s an Enrico Manfrini….so whether it’s Gold or Silver or Copper…the difference in material value is insignificant. The value is in the tradition and symbolism.

    These small tokens seem to appease people and that’s good. Of course you will not see the Pope sell the priceless paintings and artifacts of the Vatican.

    The real work will be on the big issues and I’m optimistic Pope Francis will rise above them all. Thanks to the reforms over the last years and decade. The Church can only get stronger and happier everyday.

  • OleSapra aka ARGUS


    ANA: “Una eh ‘yung gold cross necklace ang tinanggihang isuot at gamitin ni Pope Francis, tapos, ‘yung silver sa halip na gold ang pinili ng Pope na Fisherman’s Ring.”

    LISA: “Hindi ba puedeng magprotesta ‘yung mga obispo ng CBCP na maka-Team Patay sa bagong Papa na huwag naman sanang IPARANAS sa kanila ni Pope Francis ang buhay-mahirap ‘gaya ng isang menial na walang dignity?”

    CION: “Ay malabo ka ‘day. ‘Di basta-basta magpapatalo ang CBCP bishops porke halos lahat sila eh naka-‘apak sa alapaap, nakasakay sa mga niregalong SUVs at lihim na merong mga nak-a sa basla, o, biro mo ‘yon?”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4Q5EHNRA6LXAHGXPSMAXBGJ4ME isidro

    That is a good beginning. Begin with the first step of the King of Church 2000 years ago.

    Be humble. Practice humility and bow of poverty.

    What will you gain with that gold if you loss your soul? That is the prime consideration of Catholic Church, the purging of soul, the cleaning of soul so that we will be clean when we face the Creator. Pope Francis is hitting hard some of our priests and bishops.

    Back to basics. Touch the ground. Kiss the feet.

    • http://twitter.com/YeOldeSnark Dunstan Harding

      Hitting hard? That remains to be seen.

  • InChristAlone_75

    It’s good that the pope is trying show simplicity and humility by doing away with the usual pomp and pageantry, but the real issue here is something far more serious – the church’s unbiblical teachings and doctrines and unless he changes these, the RCC remains what it is – a false church.

    • http://twitter.com/YeOldeSnark Dunstan Harding

      All of Christendom needs to be rethought. Most Christian teachings are false because Jesus never said most of this stuff. All Christian churches hold more falsehoods than truths. Like the world’s biggest magnet it draws anything metal, good, bad, true, or false..

  • ano ikaw

    pakitang tao lang? Sana hindi. More power Pope Francis.

  • Jarred Pulido

    Well done Pope Francis. Return the RCC as being the church of the poor.

  • virgoyap

    Truly humane and authentic without any hypocrisy and pretensions these will describe the newly elected Pope Francis.

  • mchang1978

    Jesuit schools should be simpler and less expensive.))

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos