What does the papal ring symbolize

Fishing ring

The Fishing ring (lat .: Annulus piscatoris) has been the official ring (signet ring) of the popes since the 14th century.

On the ring plate is next to the name of the Pope and the fish (Greek. ichthys) the Apostle Peter is shown pulling a fishing net in a boat.

The ring was used to seal papal letters until 1843. It is presented to the Pope a few days after the election in the conclave as part of a solemn service for the inauguration of office (inauguration) together with the pallium and after his death at the first plenary assembly of the cardinals the Camerlengo smashes it with a silver hammer in front of those present.

In theory, the ring should be broken into as many pieces as the number of cardinals. This symbolizes the transfer of papal power to the college of cardinals during the sedis vacancy. The stone - if available - can be worked into the fisherman's ring of the new Pope after the successor has been chosen; Pope John Paul II wore a ring without a stone. Since Benedict XVI. the ring can also be used as a seal again.

The signet ring as an image is one of the Pope's insignia and is one of the pontificals in the Roman Catholic Church. Bishops wear a bishop's ring.

Traditionally, believers kneel down in front of the office of Pope as the immediate successor of St. Peter and kiss the ring as a sign of respect and admiration.

The Pope traditionally does not wear the ring on Good Friday. (According to information from Osservatore Romano)

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