Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What the Bacchetta del Penitenziere Looked Like

Abolished in 1967.

Seen today in crypt of St. Mary Major.  

The confessors at the Lateran. St. Peter's, St. Mary Major and St. Paul's had these. 

April 29, 1967, they were done away with.  A very rare sight.  


  1. Hello.

    Please could you elaborate a little more on this. You say the confessors had these. Were they used on penitents after confession or just for clergy/monks.

    If it is used for a type of corporal punishment, seems quite harsh. I'm surprised it lasted til '67.

  2. Where is there more information on this? It was from the Apostolic Penitentiary, no? For indulgences.

  3. They were kept inside the confessionals. Antennae of indulgences.

  4. The bacchetta was a sign of power in foro conscientiae. The Cardinal Major Penitentiary and the confessors of patriarchal basilicas touched the head of penitents who presented themselves before them, in imitation of a similar practice used in ancient Rome when freeing a slave.

  5. Rich with symbolism of the MERCY of God for all who confess before Him!