The Solemn Mass Set of the Bishop Luigi Ruzzini, Brother of the Doge of Venice

Made between 1698-1708, this set belonged to Bishop Luigi Ruzzini (1658-1708), a native originally of Venice who was ordained a priest in 1696, serving at the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, whose was then appointed bishop of Bergamo only two years later by Pope Innocent XII. He came from a noble Venetian family, the Ruzzini's, and was brother of the doge of Venice, Carlo Ruzzini.  

Ruzzini was selected as bishop for this diocese as he came from a noble family and it was felt to be important in order to reconcile tensions that existed between civil and ecclesiastical powers in the region. But lest you think he was a mere administrator and not a true shepherd, Bishop Ruzzini was known to be very devoted to his flock, visiting a different parish of his diocese each Sunday.

He also established a Pentecost novena in Bergamo, sought to root out corruption and to exercise his doctrinal and pastoral role as shepherd to the best of his ability. In short, he was what one would expect of any bishop and there are likely many a contemporary bishop who could benefit from following his lead as a shepherd rather than a mere administrator or figurehead. 

Of course, Bishop Ruzzini also had the benefit to come from a time when pastoral needs weren't set into false and needless opposition with the liturgical beauty and solemnity and that is certaily something this present set attests to, being of very fine gold thread embroidery set upon a beautiful violet silk lamé.  

As we have commented upon frequently here, the very fine and intricate embroideries shown on these vestments is certainly indicative of the tastes and approach of the period.  Enjoy. 

Detail of the stemma of Bishop Ruzzini

Maniple and Stole


Chalice Veil

Pontifical Gremiale

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