Ukrainian Greek Catholic Cardinal Josyf Slipyj (1892-1984). After the Pope John XXIII (#262) arranged his release from the Soviet Gulags, he was compelled to come to Rome where they made him a cardinal, but didn’t quite know how to devise a galero appropriate for a Byzantine Rite Cardinal, so they decided to wing it. The result is below, and the expression on the Cardinal’s face says it all. Not a happy camper. He is probably thinking: I kept my nose clean in the Gulag. I was respectful and obedient when the Pope told me I had to come to Rome. I don’t understand why they’re doing this to me! Why must I wear this strange contraption? Am I being punished?
Bl. Pope John XXIII (#262) in a traditional, white, papal zucchetto. From saints.sqpn.com. There is a story that when visiting a hospital in Rome a group of nursing sisters who presented him with a new zucchetto. Per convention he should have accepted the new one and given the nurses his old one in return. Much to the surprise of all, the kindly, avuncular pope, known for his personal warmth, refused to part with his existing skullcap. He gave the nurses two reasons. Firstly, he didn’t want making papal zucchettos becoming an ‘industry.’ But, mainly he was concerned that this practice would lead to idolatry and superstition. What a pope! [Anura Guruge]