The pope's wardrobe – So far, Pope Francis has seemed to make symbolic choices in what he wears, like the simple iron cross he's worn since he was appointed bishop, and black shoes, rather than the red ones favored by his predecessor. For Francis' inauguration mass this week, he wore a chasuble, mitre and pallium -- but there are indeed different articles of clothing that popes wear for different seasons, or in different traditions. (Benedict XVI was known as a clothes horse because of the vestments he resurrected.) We spoke with Father Edward Beck, a CNN contributor and Roman Catholic priest of the Passionist Order, to find out more about the pope's wardrobe.
The pope's wardrobe – Here, Pope Francis wears a cassock. The cassock, also called a soutane, can be worn by all clerics, Beck said, but the papal one is white. According to Beck, legend has it that Pope Pius V was used to wearing a white religious habit and he wanted to keep the tradition going. "And so ever since," Beck said, "it has remained white."
The pope's wardrobe – Red shoes are worn by the pope, but not many recent popes have opted for them. Benedict XVI brought them back, Beck said. Some people say the red is symbolic of the blood of martyrs, but that's not necessarily historically accurate, he said.
The pope's wardrobe – The mantum is a long cape that popes sometimes wear as a sign of their authority, Beck said. It's a vestment that fell out of use, but was revived by Benedict XVI, seen here. The mitre, Beck said, is a cone-like head dress worn by all bishops as a sign of their episcopacy. "Abbots can also wear it," Beck said. "It is not unique to the pope, but it replaced the tiara on the Papal Coat of Arms with Benedict, and now Francis."
The pope's wardrobe – Pictured here in December 1939, Pope Pius XII, wearing the triregnum, bestows a blessing during a visit to the king and queen of Italy. The triregnum is the three-tiered papal tiara, or triple crown, that was placed on the head of the pope during the "coronation" part of the inaugural mass, Beck said. "It was last worn by Pope Paul VI, who seemed to think better of it because during the Second Vatican Council, he dramatically put it on the altar at St. Peter's Basilica and said to sell it and give the money to the poor," Beck said. No pope has had a coronation or worn the triregnum since.
The pope's wardrobe – Here, Pope Benedict XVI wears the camauro, a red bonnet worn only by the pope, in December 2005. It is a winter hat made of wool or velvet and trimmed with ermine fur. Pope Benedict instigated its resurgence in the active set of papal vestments.
The pope's wardrobe – Pope Benedict XVI, seen here wearing a saturno, blesses the faithful in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, in 2006. The saturno is a wide-brimmed red hat that gets its name from its resemblance to the planet Saturn and its rings, Beck said. "It has been used as the summer alternative to the winter camauro, " he said, but unlike the winter hat, it's not not unique to the pope.
The pope's wardrobe – The zucchetto is a skullcap worn by clerics in the Roman Catholic Church and some other churches, Beck said. Priests wear black zucchettos and prelates wear violet or red, while white is reserved for the pope.
The pope's wardrobe – Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, left, greets Pope Benedict XVI at his official residence, Lambeth Palace, in central London in September 2010. Here, Benedict XVI wears a mozzetta, a cape worn by the pope and some other religious leaders. "The winter one matches the camauro because it is also red velvet or wool and adorned with ermine," Beck said. "This was also brought back by Benedict XVI after having fallen into disuse. There's also a white summer version."
The pope's wardrobe – Pope Benedict XVI is seen here wearing the pallium, a woolen cloak with five or six crosses. It's worn only by the pope and archbishops as a sign of their unity to the pope, Beck said. "It is made from the wool of lambs raised by monks and woven by nuns. It is rich in symbolism, as the pope, who is shepherd, literally carries the 'sheep' on his shoulders, especially the lost ones," Beck said.
The pope's wardrobe – Pope Benedict XVI wears a green chasuble in October, 2012. A chasuble is a liturgical vestment worn by all priests, including the pope, when saying mass, Beck said. There are a few liturgical seasons in the church, he said, each of which is associated with a color of chasuble. Green is the color worn most Sundays, known as "ordinary time," essentially, not during Advent, Lent or Easter.
The pope's wardrobe – Pope Benedict XVI arrives to lead the mass for Ash Wednesday, on February 13, 2013. He wore this purple chasuble to open Lent, the 40-day period of abstinence and deprivation for the Christians, before the Holy Week and Easter. Purple is worn during the seasons of Advent and Lent.
The pope's wardrobe – The rose-colored chasuble is only used for two Sundays of the liturgical calendar, Beck said: Gaudete Sunday, which is the third Sunday of Advent, and Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. "During both seasons," Beck said, "the color diverges from the traditional purple as a sign that both seasons are nearing and end and rejoicing is close at hand."