The Pope in Scotland

Today begins the journey of Pope Benedict to Great Britain and this morning he is in Scotland.  I have the BBC streaming on my computer whilst I write this.  One of the things that amazed me was when the Pope climbed in the famous Popemobile when he left the Palace of Holyrood House he draped the new Tartan around his shoulders!

Although it is being called the Papal Tartan it is actually the St. Ninian’s Day Tartan and it was designed by an American!  The BBC is having great fun with that.

It has been designed by Matthew Newsome who is a Catholic and director of the Scottish Tartans Museum in North Carolina.  St. Ninian brought the Gospel to Scotland over 1,600 years ago.  The Pope is in Great Britain for a visit as well as the canonization of John Henry Cardinal Newman on Sunday.  Included in the Tartan are two lines one of white and a pair of red ones representing the crest of Cardinal Newman.  There is also a yellow line that represents the color of the Vatican.

Each of the white lines has eight threads, one for each of the Catholic Diocese in Scotland.  There are 452 threads in the design from  pivot to pivot, representing the number of Catholic parishes in Scotland.  As you can see Tartans are designed with much care and with a lot of meaning.

The Tartan was presented to the Scottish Parliament by Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien and was seen being warn by both First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Labor Parties Ian Gray at First Minister Questions this past week.

His Holiness will be in Scotland for the weekend.
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