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Published 2018-03-12
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Why Pope Francis DOES NOT wear red shoes like his predecessors

With more than 1,200 million of the faithful around the world, the Catholic Church has always been characterized by following protocols and traditions from its beginnings to the present day. Many of them are known to people, for example, the traditional midday Sunday Mass officiated by the Bishop of Rome and, in turn, the highest representative, Pope Francis. However, there are some others that are not so famous.

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One of the traditions ignored by many of the Catholics is that of the red color that many pontiffs have worn for hundreds of years. It is believed that this custom would have its origins in the era of the conquerors of Byzantium because at that time the color red was synonymous with power and only certain positions of importance as the emperors and the Pope could carry it in some garment.

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However, in addition to having been linked to power, later the red color of the shoes of the top leader had a different meaning, for some centuries and, until now, is related to the bloodshed by many of the martyrs belonging to the Church that gave their lives in the name of Christ. Although, not all ecclesiastical leaders have worn this scarlet footwear.

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One of the representatives of the Catholic Church most loved by the faithful, John Paul II, did not always carry the aforementioned red shoes. The Supreme Pontiff was seen with them only in some ceremonies and protocolic acts of maximum relevance. Other colors he came to use were white and black. However, his successor, Benedict XVI, was responsible for recovering this and some other old ways and wore the shoes in the well-known crimson tone.
Continue reading the article to know why Pope Francis has decided to break this tradition!

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Antonio Arellano is the one who, until the pontificate of the pope of German origin, had been in charge of making the famous footwear. He was known as "The Pope's Shoemaker." During an interview for a local media, Arellano mentioned that, in his opinion, the red color of the shoes of the ecclesiastical representative meant the purity of the soul of those who wore them.

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Adriano Stefanelli is an Italian tailor who, like Antonio Arellano, had received the commission to make shoes for the current pontiff, Francisco. He mentioned in an interview that he already had a beautiful pair ready for the Holy Father to use, however, Bergoglio decided not to do so. Instead, he has decided to wear a black pair, which he has preserved since the beginning of his pontificate.

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According to information provided by the newspaper "El Clarín" of Argentina, Carlos Samaria, a shoemaker and old friend of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, mentioned that about 40 years ago Jorge Mario asked him to make for him a pair of shoes. Zamaria mentioned that sometime later, his friend would return repeatedly with the same shoes for Carlos to repair it.

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During the interview with the Argentine newspaper, the now known with the nickname of "Shoemaker of the Pope", he mentioned that the leader insists on keeping his same pair of shoes of a lifetime: "He does not want new shoes, only to fix the old, but now I prepare a simple pair, but new, for when he warns me that he can visit" Samaria mentioned.

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Carlos also described the Pope's current footwear as a simple pair, in black, "If one grabs a shoe from the Pope it looks like galoshes, without adornment but with laces," added the shoemaker. We can imagine the wear that some booties that have been used and repaired for so many years can have. However, the reason for Bergoglio's commitment to always carry the same pair is not a mystery.

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Controversial for many, including members of the Catholic Church, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has always been known for promoting humility in all areas. Therefore, the decision of the Pope to break with the now known tradition of red shoes is only trying to be congruent with his policy shown since its inception, "a church of the poor for the poor".

By the way, 13th of March is the 5th anniversary of choosing Bergoglio for the Pope.

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