Tuesday was the feast day of St. Agnes and Pope Francis was presented with the lambs which had been earlier blessed in the Roman church where the saint is buried.
The wool of these lambs is used to weave the pallia for the
new metropolitan archbishops.
The pallium – a white stole
adorned with six black crosses – is a liturgical vestment worn by the
Pope and the metropolitan archbishops in their Churches and in those of
The pallia are stored in a casket near the Confessio
Petri and the pontiff bestows them upon the new archbishops on the
Solemnity of the Saints Peter and Paul, as a sign of union with the
The nuns of the Roman convent of San Lorenzo in
Panisperna raise the lambs who are offered to the Pope by the Canons
Regular of the Lateran on the feast day of St. Agnes, martyred in the
year 305 and who is traditionally depicted with a lamb.