(RV) The fisherman’s ring which Pope Francis received at his installation mass at St. Peter’s basilica Tuesday represents the Apostle Peter with the keys, symbolizing papal authority over the Universal Church. In a note, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi s.j. said the ring was designed by Enrico Manfrini for Pope Paul VI but never realized in metal; nor was it ever worn by Pope Paul VI who preferred to wear a ring celebrating the Second Vatican Council.
Manfrini had created many medals and other artistic objects for Pope Paul VI. The wax mold for Pope Francis’ ring had been preserved under the care of Paul VI’s former secretary, Msgr. Pasquale Macchi. Msgr. Macchi, who is deceased, left the mold and other objects to his long-time aid, Msgr. Ettore Malnati, explains Fr. Lombardi.
Using the wax mold, Msgr. Malnati had a ring made in gold-plated silver which the Master of Ceremonies and the Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re proposed to Pope Francis along with a number of other rings. Pope Francis chose this one.