Cappella Papale

Coronation Mass of Benedict XV

Benedict XV coronation

The Coronation Holy Mass of Benedict XV, September 6, 1914. It did not take place, as it was customary, in the Basilica of St. Peter, but in the Sistine Chapel at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. This was caused by the desire to reduce the joyful pomp, due to the outbreak of World War I. For this reason, the traditional blessing to the City and the World (Urbi et Orbi) was granted not from the inner balcony of the basilica, which had been the norm since the occupation of Rome by the Italian state, but from a portable throne placed in the chapel, in front of the altar. In the photos, there are two noteworthy things. The first one is flabella, i.e. fans, normally left at the papal throne at the beginning of the liturgy; this time they were kept on both sides of the altar when the Holy Father approached it. The second interesting fact, visible in the photo below, is a curved candle, characteristic of the papal liturgy, held by an assistant to the papal throne standing next to the book.

Benedict XV Urbi et Orbi