Papal Treasures

I found Pope Francis’s skullcap today

You know, the little headpiece he wears that looks like a beanie? I went up to Marywood’s Suraci Gallery in the Shields Center after class to take a look at the newest exhibit called “The Mother of God and the Saints.” Going in I expected the religious pieces to be modern day reproductions, but instead what I found were precious relics that were hundreds of years old.

I turned around to find the little “beanie” sitting in a glass dome enveloped by red ribbon and a glass case. The tag said “Skullcap belonging to Pope Francis” and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

So a month ago, when the world flooded to Philadelphia for the Pope’s visit, and people spent hundreds of dollars on plush Popes and Vatican flags, an even greater souvenir was probably a five minute walk from my dorm.

Isn’t life crazy?

This exhibition works in conjunction with the celebration of Marywood’s centennial year, and features many Christian relics/Icons. They are being loaned from St. Tikhon’s Monastery, the Metropolitan Museum of the Orthodox Church in America, and the Guzey Icon Repository of Russian Icons and Antiquities. Fr. John Perich, curator for St. Tikhon’s, and Fr. Richard Cannuli of Villanova University organized the exhibition.

The pieces were in great condition, despite being so old and done in egg tempera. They were made of gold and sterling silver, making them extremely valuable. The styles and mediums were all recognizable from my Art History classes, and they were actually in front of me instead of printed in a textbook. It blew my mind that Marywood had gotten a hold of such an amazing exhibit. This is on-campus art at its finest and most accessible.

“The Mother of God and the Saints” is up until December 6th, so you have plenty of time to go see it. For a sneak peek, check out some more photos I took below!

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