Pope celebrates feast of St. Agnes with traditional blessing of lambs

.- Pope John Paul II, in liturgical memory of the virgin-martyr St. Agnes, whose feast is today and for whom the traditional symbol is a lamb, blessed a group of baby lambs in the library of his apartment this morning.

The wool of these lambs will be used to make the palliums given every year to new metropolitan archbishops as signs of their office.

The blessing of lambs, who are under one year of age, is traditionally celebrated on the January 21 feast of St. Agnes, who died about 350 and who is buried in the basilica named for her on Rome's Via Nomentana.

The lambs are raised by Trappist Fathers of the Abbey of the Three Fountains in Rome and the palliums are made from the newly-shorn wool by the sisters of St. Cecilia.


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