A Pallium for our Metropolitan
On November 5th, Archbishop Paul Martin was bestowed his Pallium from Rome. I was surprised by how small the Pallium appeared, as it lay on its silver tray in the Sacristy. It is a beautiful vestment that is worn around the neck of a Metropolitan Archbishop.
Usually, they are presented during a Mass in Rome by the Pope himself. However, Pope Francis has asked that they be presented within the community of the Metropolitan. This is fortunate for us, as we can share this special occasion with our Archbishop, and hold him in our prayers as he receives this symbol of his commitment to us.
What is a Pallium?
Archbishop Paul describes it best: “The pallium is a woollen vestment worn around the neck of the Pope. He in turn gives one to the archbishop who is Metropolitan of his Province, as a sign of his sharing in the Pope's pastoral authority. It also symbolises the unity of the Church through the Bishop of Rome."
In practical terms, it a small white vestment adorned with crosses. It is a very simple garment for one so loaded with meaning.
What is a Metropolitan?
No, it is not a pizza or an Italian icecream.
A Metropolitan is Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese. In New Zealand, the Metropolitan region is the Archdiocese of Wellington. As Archbishop of Wellington, Paul Martin is the Metropolitan.
In his Homily, which was also significant because it was his first after returning home from the Synod in Rome, he explains more about the significance of the Pallium and being a Metropolitan. You can watch Archbishop Paul's Homily below.
You can also see the moment he was presented with the Pallium.
We pray for our Metropolitan. May he enjoy the support of the community of Catholics in New Zealand, and remain faithful and humble to the position he holds. Amen.