Curiosities of the Ancient Papal Mass: The Purse of Ancient Papal Jules

Continuing on with our previous considerations of some the unique elements related to the papal liturgy according to the usus antiquior, I wanted to turn readers attention today to a particularly rare item: a money purse that was used at the conclusion of the solemn form of the papal Mass. (Some of you will have seen this before as it was one of of my old NLM quiz items seven years ago, but many of you will have not.)

The arms are those of Pope Leo XIII

Archdale King describes its use in The Liturgy of the Roman Church:
"...When the Pontiff has received the tiara, gloves and ring, the archpriest of the basilica, accompanied by two of the canons, presents himself before the Pope, in order to give him a purse of silk embroidered with gold in which there are twenty-five jules of ancient papal money. The archpriest, as he presents the honorarium, says: Beatissime Pater, capitulum et canonici hujus sacrosanctae basilicae, Sanctitatae [sic] vestrae consuetum offerunt presbyterium pro missa bene cantata. Then the hand of the Pope is kissed by the archpriest, and the foot by the two canons. The Pope gives the purse to the cardinal deacon for his train-bearer, who in his turn takes it to the canon sacristan of the basilica, receiving in exchange five ecus, which was about twenty-seven francs before the first World War."
In short, it was used to provide a symbolic stipend/honorarium to the pope of old papal money for the offering of the solemn Mass.

Papal Jules

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