Pope. The story of the Triple Crown. A fantastic jewel full of precious stones and strange signs.
Although Pope Paul VI was the last Pope who was crowned with the Triple Crown and the following Popes have not worn it as a signal of humility, it is still on the Vatican flag and has a long story. A really important jewel.
The first testimonies that we have about the crown come from the times of Pope Sergio III, in the 10th century, and it is carved in some medals.
But officially, in the thirteenth century, Pope Gregory IX decided that the papal consecration should include a crown, a tiara similar to that used by the kings of Byzantine Empire (heirs of Roman Empire). Then, a tall ogive-shaped end headdress.
In 1314, Pope Boniface VIII added two gold crowns to the silver tiara and from then on, the crown has been triple. The first crown represents his spiritual power, the second crown his real power and the third crown his ancient imperial power.
At the top it holds a balloon with a golden cross.
In modern times, the Vatican official version about the meaning of the three crowns states that the three crowns symbolize the three churches: the militant church, the suffering church and triumphant church.
We can appreciate the triple crown very well in the portrait of Pope Alexander VI Borgia. This Pope loved this crown and added new precious stones (if you don’t know about his personality you can see the TV series The Borgias). In fact, a reproduction of the crown (in marble) is still decorating his sepulcher in the church of Santa Maria de Montserrat in Rome.
In 1981, the Hungarian Catholics gave to Pope John Paul II a tiara for private use and on May 25, 2011, after the general audience held in Rome, a group of German Catholics also gave Pope Benedict XVI a papal tiara.