Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 28 February |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Tymoteusz Trojanowski
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

The “Tablecloth of Forgiveness” goes on display at the Vatican

Forgiveness tablecloth 2023

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Daniel Esparza - published on 02/04/24

In 1077, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, embroiled in a power struggle with Pope Gregory VII, made a dramatic pilgrimage to Canossa, where he sought absolution from the Pope.
Without donors, Aleteia's future is uncertain.
Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.
PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO ALETEIA

Adorned with elaborate needlework and delicate embroidery, the Tablecloth of Forgiveness is a unique object. Currently on display at the Sala XVII of the Pinacoteca Vaticana, this exquisite linen creation is set to be gifted to Pope Francis on February 22, 2024 – the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

The gift is the brainchild of the Cultural Circle Reggio Ricama; the Tablecloth of Forgiveness is intended to adorn the Altar of the Chair in the Basilica – a sacred site that holds immense symbolic significance. This choice of placement perfectly aligns with the tablecloth’s namesake, the Pardon of Canossa, a watershed moment in Italian history that underscores the transformative power of forgiveness.

In 1077, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, embroiled in a power struggle with Pope Gregory VII, made a dramatic pilgrimage to Canossa, where he sought absolution from the Pope. Kneeling in the snow in sackcloth for three days, Henry made an act of contrition that led to a reconciliation with far-reaching consequences – political, social, and even geographical.

Forgiveness tablecloth 2023
The brainchild of the Cultural Circle Reggio Ricama, the Tablecloth of Forgiveness is intended to adorn the altar of the Chair in the Basilica

The Tablecloth of Forgiveness, with its beautiful patterns and symbolic imagery, serves as a visual representation of this pivotal moment in history. The elaborate needlework depicts scenes of reconciliation and forgiveness, while the overall design echoes the architectural details of the Basilica.

The exhibition surrounding the Tablecloth of Forgiveness also features a liturgical vestment that accompanied the gift of the tablecloth to the Basilica, further enhancing the connection between the artifact, its historical and spiritual significance, and its liturgical nature.

Forgiveness tablecloth 2023
In 1077, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV embroiled in a power struggle with Pope Gregory VII, made a dramatic pilgrimage to Canossa, where he sought absolution from the Pope.

In addition to its historical and artistic value, the Tablecloth of Forgiveness carries an evident message: It reminds us of the often surprising, transformative power of forgiveness and, eventually, of reconciliation, inviting us to repent and to embrace forgiveness as a path to healing and unity.

Tags:
Catholic historyMedievalVatican
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.