Pontifical Vestments of Cardinal Saverio Castiglioni (Pope Pius VIII)

Pope Pius VIII is not a pope one hears a great deal about given the brevity of his reign (which only lasted about a year and a half from 1829-1930). For context, however, he was the pontiff who was on the throne of Peter during the preiod of the Catholic Emancipation in Great Britain.  Prior to his brief time as Roman pontiff however, he was Cardinal Saverio Castiglioni, son of an Italian Count and an ancestor of Pope Celestine IV (+1241). He studied under the Jesuits, was ordained a priest in 1785 and made a bishop in the year 1800. As he refused to swear allegiance to Napoleon, he was imprisoned in 1808 only being released after the fall of Napoleon in 1814. Two years later, he was elevated to the rank of a cardinal -- and it is from this period that his vestments, shown below, are taken. Finally, in the year 1829 he was elected Roman pontiff, taking the name of Pius VIII.  Two noteworthy elements of his short pontificate that might sound familiar to people in our time was his concern over inaccurate biblical translations and religious syncretism. 

Pope Pius VIII

With that background in mind, we'll now turn our attention to our real focus, namely a set of pontifical vestments Pius VIII used circa 1821-1829. The design of the set would fall into a neo-classical style with metallic gold embroideries in floral motifs set onto red silk lamé/

Stemma of Cardinal Castiglioni

In this particular instance, we are also fortunate to have some of the pontificals of the Cardinal, namely the red pontifical gloves, sandals and buskins that would have been worn with a set such as this for Solemn Pontifical Masses. 

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