Online Tour: Items of Papal Significance

Items of Papal Significance

Three very special symbols are found within the Basilica's interior. At opposite ends of the front row of pews stand two items of Papal significance. Both can only be found within churches which have the title of Basilica, which means "House of the King."
The tintinnabulum is a small gold bell surrounded by a golden frame crowned with the Papal tiara and keys. If the Pope were to say Mass within the Basilica, the tintinnabulum would be used to lead the procession down the center aisle.
The canopeum is a symbolic shield of protection for the Pope during his travels. The canopeum remains open anticipating the Pope's arrival.
Those two items, along with the Papal Coat of Arms, hanging just above the Basilica's main entrance, signify the shrine's sacred place within the Catholic Church, and its relationship to the Holy Father.