Vilniaus (arki)katedros kapitulos narių insignijos: distinktorijų raidos štrichai

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Vilniaus (arki)katedros kapitulos narių insignijos: distinktorijų raidos štrichai
Alternative Title:
Insignia of the chapter of Vilnius (arch)cathedral: Distinctoria evolution sketch
In the Journal:
Lietuvos istorijos metraštis [Yearbook of Lithuanian History]. 2016, 2015/2, p. 83-108
LDB Open.
Vilnius; Arkikatedra bazilika; Arkikatedros Kapitulos; Insignijos; Istoriografija; Bažnyčia
Vilnius (arch)cathedral; Church; Insignia
Summary / Abstract:

ENHigh clergy of Roman Catholics are distinct among their confratres both by liturgical vestments and insignia, i.e., external marks symbolising their priesthood status. One of such marks is distinctoria: pectoral crosses worn to signify a position of cathedral or collegiate chapters. The genesis of distinctoria worn by cathedral chapters in dioceses situated in the territory of the Polish -Lithuanian Commonwealth was influenced by the fashion of decorations and medals which gained popularity in the higher rungs of secular society in the 18th century. The privilege to wear a pectoral cross was granted to the cathedral chapter of Vilnius by the papal bull of Pope Benedict XIV in 1742. A unique feature of distinctoria worn by high priests in Catholic dioceses of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a combination or religious and state symbols. The privilege granted by the Pope in 1742 established symbols of the distinctorium worn by the cathedral chapter of Vilnius and containing a dominating image of St. Casimir and his attributes. The fact that the image of St. Casimir was selected rather than the image of the titular patron saint of the cathedral (St. Stanislaus) leads to an assumption that the holy prince was recognised as the patron saint of both Lithuania of that period and Vilnius Diocese long before the official legitimating by a decree of Bishop Ignotas Masalskis in 1775. The latter deed determined the fact that the image of St. Casimir was left on the distinctorium of the cathedral chapter of Vilnius even after the unification of symbols of this mark initiated by the authorities of the Russian Empire. Such initiative was implemented in 1800, and applied to all cathedral and collegiate chapters of Catholic dioceses which ended up in the territory of the empire after partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth leaving the image of the patron saint of the relevant diocese on the reverse of pectoral crosses.In the period of the Russian Empire, only one former state symbol (the image of the White Eagle) on the distinctorium of the cathedral in Vilnius Diocese was replaced by the Two-Headed Black Eagle as instructed by the authorities. After 1832, the imperial authorities entrusted the local government of the empire with control of the use of the imperial coat of arms on pectoral crosses. The study of the evolution process of the distinctorium worn by the cathedral chapter of Vilnius allows us to claim that the secular authorities used this mark which identified a person’s position in priesthood hierarchy of the diocese as a tool to emphasise subordination of the Catholic Church to superiority of the secular rule. Such expansion of the imperial authorities with regard to symbols of religious images on distinctoria, and resorting to universal application of the imperial coat of arms should be viewed as the obvious manifestation of the policy pursued by the Russian Empire with respect to the Catholic Church. When Lithuania and Poland broke free from the Russian Empire, built their independent states in late 1910s with the centre of Vilnius Diocese ending up in the Region of Vilnius occupied by Poland, symbols on the distinctorium of the cathedral chapter were reinstated based on the papal bull of 1742. The White Eagle (now already a symbol of Poland) reappeared instead of the Two-Headed Black Eagle. In the period of 1742–1939 selected for the study, the right to wear a pectoral cross as a sign of one’s position in the Church was within the scope of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Multilayer symbolism of the analysed distinctorium, the combination of religious and secular signs integral to the realia of the specific period clearly indicate that the information hidden in these insignia is still a source with great potential exceeding the boundaries of research into the diocesan history. [From the publication]

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2019-01-06 18:00:38
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