Pope Francis and a Fátima Monstrance

I noticed today on a Twitter feed a criticism of a monstrance used in Fátima by Pope Francis. The criticism contrasted the monstrance with another one given by the Irish.

Pope Francis (left) contrasted with the Irish monstrance (right).

I offer no comment about the aesthetics and eye appeal of either monstrance. I do, however, wish to make an observation.

From my time in Fátima, not just my study of the phenomenon, but my actual experiences in Fátima proper, I learned about the Irish monstrance. In short, I was told that it was very heavy contains pure gold and studded with numerous precious gems. In other words, very valuable. For more information about the monstrance, I recommend you visit these web sites:

  1. Ireland Sends Its Thanks to Fátima (YouTube video, 1949).
  2. Fatima Vessels en Route to America (National Catholic Register, 1999).
  3. Fatima Monstrance (Athgarvan Musings, 2018).

So we have weight and value to consider here. Let me add one more component: Pope Francis’ extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing on March 27, 2020.

Does anyone remember what happened after the imparting of the blessing? Pope Francis turned around and walked back to the altar inside of St. Peter’s. His walk was not healthy looking, and the monstrance was lilted. Here is the visual:

Clearly, Pope Francis was struggling. The man is over 80, has part of a lung removed and wears special orthopedic shoes. Does anyone really think he would have used the Irish monstrance?

Based upon everything considered here, I think it is a bit unfair to criticize Pope Francis for not using the Irish monstrance.