Fishing ring

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Fisherman ring Pope Leo XIII.
Pope Julius II fishing ring , detail of a painting by Raphael

The Fisherman's Ring (lat .: annulus piscatoris ) since the 14th century, the official ring of the Popes . On the ring plate, next to the name of the Pope, the apostle Peter is shown, who is pulling a fishing net in a boat . This refers to Peter and his brother Andrew as "fishermen of men" ( Mk 1,17  EU ).

The ring was used as a signet ring 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 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 Benedict XVI wore a ring without a stone. After Pope Benedict resigned from office on February 28, 2013, his ring was devalued by an engraving that severed the ring plate in order to prevent abuse, and the ring was not completely destroyed.

Benedict's successor Francis did not choose a gold fisherman's ring, but a gold-plated silver ring. The fact that a pope chooses a ring made of silver is considered rare, but not an isolated case. On the other hand, the fact that Francis opted for a ring that was not specially designed for his inauguration, but was made on the basis of an already existing ring, is regarded as unusual and probably also unique.

The fisherman's ring is one of the Pope's insignia and belongs to the pontificals ; 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 veneration.


Web links

Commons : Fischerring  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Vatican: Fisherman's Ring from Benedict XVI. was canceled , , March 6, 2013
  2. Insignia: Francis relies on simplicity ,, March 19, 2013