Archbishop Lucius Ugorji of Owerri Archdiocese along with other newly appointed Archbishops across the world were invested with the pallium today by pope Francis.
The pallium is a symbol of authority and unity with the pope. Only the pope and metropolitan archbishops wear the pallium.
Non-metropolitan archbishops and retired archbishops cannot wear the pallium.


The pallium, made of lamb’s wool, is a white band measuring about 5 cm in width. Two equally wide bands, about 30 cm long containing small silk-covered lead pieces, extend one in front and one on the back.

It is worn over the chasuble and is the insignia of the office of a metropolitan archbishop, that is, of an archbishop who is the bishop of a metropolitan archdiocese.

Six black crosses adorn the pallium and are placed in the front and back, on each shoulder, and on the ends of the pieces hanging in front and back.
The crosses on the front, on the back, and on the left shoulder also bear a pin, called a spinula (a Latin word meaning a small spine, or thorn). These crosses are often set with precious stones.

Pallium is a Latin word that means a mantle or cloak.Just so you know, if a metropolitan archbishop is transferred to another metropolis, he must receive a new pallium for his new role while keeping his old pallium.

The law requires that after the resignation of an archbishop, he may not use the pallium; and most specifically, “should he be transferred to another archdiocese, he must again petition the pope for a new pallium,” (cf. can. 437 § 3).

The pallium symbolizes the plenitudo pontificalis officii (i.e., the “plenitude of pontifical office”); worn by archbishops, it typifies their participation in the supreme pastoral power of the pope, who concedes it to them for their proper church provinces. So, when used by metropolitans, the pallium simply signify union with the Apostolic See.


Currently, every year, on the feast of St Agnes, two lambs are brought from Tre Fontane, the site of St Paul’s martyrdom, to the Basilica of St Agnes on the Via Nomentana.

After they are blessed, they are taken and presented to the Pope, then they remain in the care of the Sisters who reside at the Basilica of St Cecilia in Trastevere.

Just before Easter, these lambs are shorn and their wool is used to make the pallia for newly-appointed Archbishops.

Once entirely handmade, by the Sisters, the sheer number of archbishops in need of a pallia each year has made it impossible to continue with that practice. Instead, the Sisters now select a company to manufacture them. Each pallium contains a portion of the wool shorn from the two lambs.

At present, only the Pope, metropolitan archbishops, and the Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem wear the pallium. Under the 1917 Code of Canon Law, a metropolitan had to receive the pallium before exercising his office in his ecclesiastical province, even if he was previously metropolitan elsewhere, but these restrictions were absent in the revised 1983 Code of Canon Law.

Congratulations to his Grace Archbishop Lucius Ugorji and all newly Invested Archbishops.


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