THE POPE’s call for simplicity not only echoes in his preaching but in his style as well.

As one of the two official seamstresses of the papal visit in the country, the Congregation of the Servants of St. Joseph’s Talleres de Nazaret in Quezon City, considered Pope Francis’ minimalism in preparing four sets of vestments for the papal visit.

“Pope Francis has always been distinguished with humility and simplicity,” said Mother Maria Flor Perez, directress of the congregation.

The Pope’s liturgical clothing is composed of three elements–the miter or the headdress, the chasuble or the outer vestment, and the stole, a band of cloth worn over the shoulders. The miter is the priestly headcovering worn by bishops during liturgical rites, while the chasuble is the long poncho-like garment worn on top of the stole, which is the “symbol of the clerical office, immortality, and the yoke of Christ.”

Talleres de Nazaret fashioned three miters for Pope Francis, all white and adorned with intricate embroidery.

One of the miters has white floral pattern on its outlines, with ‘JHS’ inscribed on the middle, fettered by brown bamboo. The design signifies the Pope’s Jesuit association.

Four stoles were designed for the Pope, each one to be used in his different destinations.

Perez said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) invited them to sew the vestments as early as July, but they were initially reluctant about it.

“In the beginning, we were not enthusiastic about it because we have so many orders and we might not finish,” she said. “But then they insisted, and so we accepted. We were tasked to make 1,500 stoles for the priests, 250 miters and chasubles for the bishops, and Pope Francis’ vestments.”

The CBCP decided on the designs among the many others Talleres de Nazeret has to offer. The workload was divided with another tailor shop, Disenyo Sagrado, based in Bulacan. Kristelle Ann A. Batchelor and Elyssa Christine A. Lopez


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