Sunday, 3 January 2016


PopePaul VI ring

When the world's Roman Catholic bishops concluded the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago each of them were presented with the above ring by Pope Paul VI.

The ring is a simple gold ring which shows Jesus in the centre flanked by the Apostles Peter and Paul.

The above ring belongs to me and originally belonged to a bishop who was a Council Father from the USA. When I got is some years ago I had it strengthened by a jeweller friend.

Called the “mitre ring,” it was designed in the 1965 by a famous Italian sculptor called Enrico Manfrini (1917 - 2004).

Enrico Manfrini
0s by the late sculptor Enrico Manfrini, who created statues or engravings of each pope from Pius XII to John Paul II.
Manfrini designed the miter ring at the request of Pope Paul VI. Cast in gold or silver (gold for bishops and silver for lesser dignitaries), the ring was presented by the pope to commemorate the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. Because of the connection to Vatican II, the mitre ring is also called the “council ring.”
The mitre ring was all but forgotten by many until an eBay posting in 2012, when a gold miter ring, complete with its presentation box, came up for sale.
What at the time seemed to be a minor tidbit of history gained a bit more attention when Pope Benedict XVI retired and relinquished his fisherman’s ring (symbol of the pope’s authority). In its place, the retired pope now wears a replica of the mitre ring. (While the former Joseph Ratzinger attended Vatican II, he was not a bishop at the time and did not receive his own miter ring.)
Benedict's mitre ring

The original mitre rings are distinguished from their replicas by the coat of arms of Paul VI which is stamped inside.
Pauk VI coat of arms on inside

The ring gets its headgear moniker from the fact that it is shaped like a mitre. In the peak-shape of the ring’s face is an engraved cross above the figure of Christ. On either side of Christ stand Peter and Paul.
The story grew even more when — for his own fisherman’s ring — Pope Francis chose a ring design that Manfrini had made for Pope Paul VI. Since the late pope preferred another ring, the Manfrini ring only existed as a wax mold kept in the custody of Pope Paul’s former secretary, Msgr. Pasquale Macchi. According to Vatican Radio and confirmed by Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, when the monsignor died, he left the mould to his long-time aide, Msgr. Ettore Malnati.
Msgr. Malnati used the mold to cast a ring in gold-plated silver which the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re proposed to Pope Francis, with a number of other rings, as a potential fisherman’s ring. Pope Francis chose the Manfrini ring and wears it today.
Francis' Manfrini ring


  1. Gold rings,silver rings etc etc. What relevance to the child wrapped in swaddling
    Clothes and laid in a manger?
    Where did it all go wrong?
    Dalriada Dick

  2. The father of the Prodigal Son did put a ring on his finger as one of the signs of forgiveness and reconciliation ?

  3. Pat, my point was the whole commercialisation and enrichment thing- well,well beyond what would be considered reasonable. Is there any need for the vast fortunes tied up in works of art and property etc. I appreciate the RCC isn't the only outfit proclaiming the Word of God caught up in the materialism thing. Indeed, the man from Galilee must be shaking his head and asking himself where it all went wrong!

    Dalriada Dick

    1. DD, of course I agree with you. For instance the wealth of the RCC and the Vatican is both a scandal and an abomination.

      If a bishop, like a married man wears a modest ring as a sign of love, dedication and committment we are suitably impressed.

      However inordinate wealth in people and places that claim Christ is nothing short of gross hypocrisy and indeed blasphemy.

  4. Oh how very important!

  5. I believe in God. He loves me and we chat every day. I try ( note the try) to improve my conscious contact with God praying only for knowledge of his will for me and the power to carry that out.
    When I fall out with him or feel that I don't have God in my life I have to remember who walked away! I am no holy roller. Anything but, believe me. However my relationship with God is very straightforward and simple. I don't need degrees in theology, mass, incense, relics ,holy water, priests, bishops, the Vatican or the Metropolitan Temple for that matter. All I need is the humility to say every morning "Morning God, now what have you got on the agenda for me today" and off I go on my day's journey. It's called simple,humble living and at day's end I have a wee chat again and say thanks.
    Most days are good. Some not so but hay ho- that's life!
    When I watch all the nonsense that goes with organised religion and the increasingly ugly world we live in as people use their interpretation or "ownership" of God to justify their behaviours and terrible acts I am so thankful I have a direct line to him whenever I want.
    There's a lot to be said for the old kiss theory. Keep it simple stupid

  6. Been looking for one of those rings for ages to add to my collection! Any chance of flogging it to me, Pat? I now have a different episcopal ring for every finger and toe 100 times over. Love to get my finger into a Vat II ring!

    The Lord Poundloney,
    Dean of St Peter's.