The Blessed Sword and Cap

The Ensis Benedictus et Pileus Ducalis is an honour of the Stato Pontificio. It may be given by the Papa-Prince to Catho-lic princes or other secular men of distinction in recognition of their defence of Christendom. The gifts are traditionally blessed on Christmas Eve, but may be blessed any time. The sword is usually two-handed. The hat is a cylindrical cap of red velvet with two lappits similar to those of a mitre. The right-hand side is with a dove of the Holy Spirit, and a sun in its splendour is depicted upon the top.

  The ritual is typically prior to matins. The Archfather vests in rochet and white stole. He blesses both gifts, sprinkling them with holy water and censing them thrice. He then takes the cappa magna as for matins.

  If the recipient is, he is invested with the gifts immediately. The recipient wears a surplice over his secular church robes. The Papa-Prince then says:

    [Name], We appoint thee, holy prince, as another sword of the Holy See, which has, We declare by this fine gift, a most devout son in thee, and also by this hat We declare that thou art a fortification and bulwark to protect the Holy Roman Church against the enemies of the Faith. Therefore, may thy hand remain firm against the enemies of the Holy Church and the Pontifical States and of the Name of Christ, and may thy right hand be lifted up, intrepid warrior, as thou re-movest them from the earth, and may thy head be protected against them by the Holy Spirit, symbolised by the dove, in those things deemed worthy by the Son of God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  The recipient then has the sword and belt placed on him. A white cope is then placed on him, with the morse fastened over the right shoulder. The recipient then removeds his hat and hands it to his at-tendant, then unsheaths the sword, strikes it against the ground three times, then brandishes it in the air thrice, and replaces it in the scab-bard.

 

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