A pectoral cross is a cross hanging on a chain that religious officials (such as the Pope and bishops) wear resting on their chest to represent their ecclesiastical power. Its name comes from the Latin, “pectoralis” meaning “of the chest”. The tradition may have arisen as early as the fifth century, but its commonly agreed that its popularity heightened in the eighteenth century. This cross is often made out of platinum, gold, or silver.
Pope Francis’ pectoral cross is the one that he wore as Archbishop of Argentina; it is silver and is not made by a goldsmith from the Vatican, but it is a work of a small artisan master craftsmen, Giuseppe Albrizzi, an Italian from Vidigulfo Manenti. However, as Albrizzi explains himself, the design of the cross was made by his teacher, the sculptor, Antonio Vedele. "The cross was made by me, but it was drawn by my teacher, Antonio Veldele, for whom I worked until 1978. I am grateful for everything he had taught me, the teacher who created the cross of Pope Francis"
Giuseppe claims that the cross that Pope Francis adorns was made in his workshop: "I recognized it immediately as soon as the Pope came out on the balcony. Around his neck he wore my silver cross. more...