A Closer Look at the Leonine Mantum Shown in This Famous Photographic Portrait of Pope St. Pius X

One of the more popular formal photographic portraits of Pope St. Pius X shows him wearing tiara and vested in a white papal mantum either standing before or sitting down on a papal throne. I remember the first time I saw this photographic image, being impressed by the beauty of the vestment and fortunately it is one of those we do know something about. 

The mantum that St. Pius X chose to wear for this formal portrait is one of his predecessors, namely Pope Leo XIII -- which can be clearly enough seen and understood by the fact of the stemma of the mantum being his. This particular mantum was produced between 1887-88 by the Romanini atelier for the occasion of the Leo's priestly jubiliee (which is noted in an embroidery hidden beneath the hood/shield). 

As with our previous examples, the base fabric is a white/gold silk lamé and inside it is lined in white silk taffeta. The embroidery itself is of golden thread and 78 precious stones decorate the details.  The design itself within the embroideries is quite typical to the period, incorporating floriated ornaments with Eucharistic motifs such as grapes, grape leaves and vines as well as shafts of wheat.

A few closer looks.

Before we conclude, we will take this opportunity to also share two other lesser seen portraits of Pius X wearing this same Leonine mantum.

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