Cardinal Duka Received the Cardinalate Ring
Vatican: Cardinalate insignia – scarlet solideos and biretti, cardinal rings and decrees of appointment – have been accepted by 22 newly appointed cardinals in the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican.
The solemn ceremonial began with a Liturgy of the Word as Radek Tichý, a deacon of the Prague Archdiocese and Auxiliary Pontifical Master of Ceremony, sang a pericope of Mark’s Gospel about the discussion of Jesus with his disciples where they ask to be seated with Him on the Thone of Glory. Jesus replies that whoever wishes to be first among them shall become the servant of everyone.
The Pope’s homily ensued, followed by the ceremony of conferment of cardinal insignia. New cardinals professed their faith before the assembly of the faithful and vowed loyalty to the Pope. The cardinals then approached the Pope individually to receive their birreti, rings and decrees of appointment as cardinals. Each new cardinal then greeted the Pope and members of the College of Cardinals with a sign of peace. In the second part of the consistory, the Pope Benedict XVI. announced the canonization of seven blesseds which is to take place on October 21, 2012.
While the scarlet of the cardinal biretta symbolizes the blood of martyrdom, the cardinal ring bears an image of the apostles Ss. Peter and Paul, portrayed in the design of sculptures that stand in front of St. Peter Basilica with an eight-point star over their heads symbolizing Virgin Mary. The periople of the ring resembles the portico of the Vatican basilica. The inner side of the ring bears an engraving of the Papal Styles of Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Duka was accompanied to Rome by a thousand of pilgrims from the Czech Republic. In the afternoon, he celebrated a mass with them in St. Gregorius VII. Church in Via del Cottolengo, Rome.
In the evening, new cardinals were accepting congratulations from their friends, co-workers and other faithful who accompanied them to Rome at the Apostolic Palace. On Saturday, February 19, a formal banquet was organized by the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karel Schwarzenberg, who also attended the ecclesiastical ceremony.
On Sunday, February 19, Pope Benedict XVI. celebrated a divine service with the 21 new cardinals at the St. Peter Basilica at 9.30 a.m. On Monday, February 20, the Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka OP attended the audience granted by the Pope to the new cardinals and their entourage at Paul VI. Audience Hall.