Liturgical gloves are permitted to be worn by the Pope, Archbishops, or Cardinals on special feast days or for processions. Almost all of the surviving examples in museum collections are of knitted silk, and many are ornamented on the back of the hand with a knitted or embroidered IHS monogram in gold. The sunburst monogram seen here was popularized by Saint Bernardino of Siena in the 15th century, and it remains his primary attribute. The use of the color red may refer to rank, red indicating a cardinal, or to the feast day on which the gloves were worn. The liturgical color calendar was established in 1570 under Pious V, and dictated that white was to be worn for the celebration of mass during the Christmas and Easter seasons, violet for Advent and Lent, and red for Pentecost and Martyrs’ days as a symbol of suffering.
- Liturgical gloves, Italy, 18th century, knitted silk embroidered with metallic yarns and spangles, Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf
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