Silks, trains and ermines

Card. Wyszyński about pompons

Stefan, cardinal Wyszyński in his titular church of Blessed Virgin Mary in Trastevere, probably on the day of his ingress.

On Palm Sunday, which today is the first homage to Christ the King, the Holy Church sings: “And stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him….”

The Church wants its servants to remember about that event and this is why it dresses its 70 servants in purple. It may be sometimes the object of desire and pride… But in reality it is the symbol of Blood which flowed from Christ – God and Man and from Christ’s Mystic Body. Thus, one must destroy everything what could remain of pride, even if it would not be connected with desire…

There was not desire in me and there was not also pride. But I was not free from its peculiar shade. How many times I “teased” the Lord when I had to accept the signs of the will of the Church? Kind-hearted sister Maksencja had to repeat many times: “It is for the glory of the Holy Church”. I avoided, however, as long as I could this red, I almost did not wear the scarf, the red cassock… I took the coat only as a protection from getting cold after the homily… I did not use the red stockings… I noticed that some bishops had started to follow me…

But it was the pride because I thought more about myself than about the Christ’s Purple. However, to don worthily the adornment of the Church, one not only has to long for it, but one must be able  also to appreciate it – for the Church. Christ did not shrank from this scarlet robe. And I “teased” the will of the Church constantly. And everyone knows that in this scarlet there is more from the blood of the Church than from the human vanity; the pride will never be able to obscure the truth of the Blood. I must appreciate even the smallest rope in order to announce the Most Holy Blood of Christ and Church to the world.

Stefan, cardinal Wyszyński Zapiski więzienne (25 III 1956).

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