Napoleon III Requiem Mass Set, Clonfert, Co. Galway

The Clonfert Diocese in Loughrea County, Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland is the home to some very interesting liturgical treasures. One set of vestments that are particularly of interest is a black solemn Mass set that was donated by Napoleon Bonaparte to Fr. William Manning in 1858, who was then parish priest in Aughrim County.

The set was donated with the purpose of being used for the offering Mass for the repose of souls of the French soldiers who died there in the late 17th century.

While many readers will no doubt associate the symbol of the bee mainly with the famed Barberini's of Rome, Urban VIII being perhaps their most famed representative, the bee was also chosen by Napoleon as his own symbol -- hence their inclusion on these vestments.

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