Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders: The Benedictines

Back in mid-July I introduced a new series, "Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders," which began to take us through the unique traditional dress of prelates who belonged to religious orders and how it differed by comparison to the usual schema we are all accustomed to (purple for bishops, red for cardinals and so on).  As I noted then, their distinctive dress was such that it would align, to some greater or lesser degree, to the habit of their order -- by comparison with the post-1969 practice where they all dress in the same garb.

We started that series with a look at the ashen grey dress of the Franciscans and today I wanted to turn your attention to the Benedictines.

Starting with the cappa magna, as a general point of principle, Nainfa notes that any cardinal or bishop belonging to a religious order was not allowed the use of the respective red or purple cappa of a secular prelate -- this is something to keep in mind as a general rule for all of these orders. In the case of the Benedictines it is black:

You can see here that the form is otherwise the same, and like other cappas, it had a summer and winter form. The cappa is made from a woolen material and matches the distinctive black habit of the Benedictine order.

The same can be said of the other parts of the prelatial dress of the Benedictines.Their mozzetta would be black as would their mantelletta.

To the right of John XXIII is the black mantelleta of a Benedictine bishop (note the colour of the biretta he is holding).
In terms of the biretta and zucchetto, Benedictine prelates would wear the usual colour of their particular rank, the same as secular cardinal and bishops. This can be seen in the images above.

Not seen here, but the traditional buckled shoes of a Benedictine prelate were of the silver variety. In terms of their stockings, they were black, matching their habit.

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