Restoration of Papal Tiara?


The question I answered was about John Paul the First (not the 2nd)

In any case, I wonder about the tiara for St John Paul II. There is information on the internet out there that the Hungarians gave him one.

It seems no photos exist to prove it. Although some photos “after the fact” might have surfaced.

It could be nothing but an unfounded story. They might have tried to give him one, but he refused it. Who knows?

All I can do is search the internet (not like I can sneak around the Vatican museum storage area or anything like that), but there seems to be no solid information or evidence that any such thing ever really existed. Unless, again, they tried but he never accepted it.


This one is the Hungarian tiara that seems to match the one that was memorialized in the medal:

Another image of it from a postcard or artbook?
Photobucket doesn’t allow a hotlink, so:
ht tp://photobucket. com/gallery/user/kjk76_95/media/bWVkaWFJZDoxNTk0MTM0Mw==/?ref=

From a blog:

As most know it was Pope Paul VI who was the last to have a coronation and the last to make use of the papal tiara (he surrendered his at the end of Vatican II). The smiling, short-lived Pope John Paul I had none and Blessed Pope John Paul II said that, while it was proper to have a coronation, it was not appropriate to do so at his time because of the recent, tragic loss of his predecessor. However, not many know that Bl. John Paul II did have a tiara of his own. It was more traditional than that of Paul VI but still rather simple when compared to others as it was made in Hungary, behind the “Iron Curtain”, smuggled out and presented to the Pontiff as a symbol of the determined faith of the Catholic Hungarians. It was never worn of course and its existence only made public after the end of the communist regime. Pope Benedict’s tiara was presented to the Pontiff at his Wednesday general audience by a delegation of Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims in the name of Christian unity.


St John Paul II did have a tiara on his coat of arms; so putting the image of one on a medal is not really proof of anything.

There is no way of knowing if the medal was minted first, then someone decided to make a tiara to look like the one on the medal.

Do we even know if the medal is authentic?

As for the tiara itself I would ask “who” made its existence known?

I mean, I could have knitted him a scarf in 1988, never gave it to him, then one day say “this is the pope’s scarf, I just never had a change to give it to him.” It wouldn’t mean much.

If such a thing exists, it would be either in a Vatican museum or given to his relatives upon his death as personal property. If the Vatican has it, why keep it a secret? We know he never wore one in public, so what purpose would it serve to keep it hidden?

As for Benedict XVI
We know that one exists. No doubt. Plenty of pictures and plenty of reliable first-hand information.

Still, is it really accurate to say that it was the tiara of Pope Benedict if the Pontiff himself never wore it? He did not commission it. He did not request it. Some people simply surprised him with a gift. I don’t think it’s fair to call it Benedict’s tiara under the circumstances.


Supposedly it’s in the Vatican sacristy along with several others. One of us needs to pop our head in there and take a peek. :slight_smile:

There are no details as to exactly who in Hungary (either the state, the Catholic Church in Hungary, a diocese or an individual) donated the tiara, though one anti-Catholic website stated that the Hungarian tiara was a gift from “the people of Hungary” (Previous papal tiaras were often given in the name of a country or organisation, despite these having been paid for and chosen by private individuals or organisations). Though rumoured to exist, it was only in the 21st century that its existence was confirmed when photographs of the tiara were published.

As no pope has worn a papal tiara since Pope Paul VI and later Pope John Paul II made the practice optional, the Hungarian Tiara remains unworn. It is also unconfirmed as to whether it is currently in the Papal Sacristy in the Vatican alongside the other papal tiaras. Photographs do however show it displayed in the distinctive form used by the Papal Sacristy to display its collection of papal tiaras.

Note: Papal Tiaras displayed by the Vatican are photographed on a distinct display base on a grey or blue background. Images in the media, and later images on the internet (see one above) show the Hungarian Tiara displayed in that exact format. No papal tiaras outside the property of the Vatican (with the sole exception of the Tiara of Pope Paul VI on display at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC) ever use that format.



They show it “displayed in the distinctive form” as the tiaras in the papal sacristy. OK. Well if such photographs are fakes, that just means the photographer had the good sense not to put it on red velvet stand or a light blue cushion, but instead to make it look like the other photos.

The more I read about this, the LESS I believe it’s real.

If it’s real, there’s no reason for the Vatican to make it a secret. It just makes no sense.

People love Vatican conspiracy theories.




(16 character add on)


To be fair, even if it was “real” having a tiara no more makes it a papal tiara then the hockey stick given to PJPII makes him a papal NHL player.


I would dispute that… the design of a papal tiara is completely unique… I would say that its design, rather than its ownerwhip, makes a tiara papal



But it doesn’t make it the papal tiara of a Pope. The way you bend a piece of wood makes it a hockey stick. Pope JPII was, as remembered in many photos, the recipient of a hockey stick. This does NOT make him an NHL player—heck, it doesn’t even make him a sportsman (though he was in his younger days).

The design of a hockey stick is unique, too. It is only used for playing hockey. It is not used for lacrosse or baseball or any other activity.

Even if the Pope was gifted a tiara (which is much in question) it doesn’t carry the same connotations as the tiaras of the past. We don’t even know if the alleged gift is even wearable or functional as a tiara.


He’s not the only one. The Holy Roman Emperor was elected, as were the kings of Poland, the doges of Venice and the Dutch stadtholders. And the kings of England before 1066.


To me, it comes across as Pharisaical that someone literally made Pope Francis a crown, using their time, effort, and money,

but he won’t wear it because “I have to show off how humble I am!”

“Lord, I thank thee that I am not like other men…”

Who am I to judge the Pope tho.


Fine, but I think the bigger reason still might be because Christ is the
King, not the Pope.

A crown indicates sovereignty, indicates kingship. The Pope is more like a
prime minister, than an actual king.

So my guess is that all of this played a part in why it’s call a tiara
instead of crown

God Bless


Yep, I follow that reasoning.


Neither did PJPII or Benedict.

They are the Pope, not you, so why do you think they are being a Pharisees?

Especially in Francis’ case where he has askewed many of the luxuries of being the Pope. He has spoken out against oppulance in the clergy many times. I would say that those who make such finery knowing how he has chosen to live are the Pharisees. They have willfully spent money creating something that he has spoken out against. For what end? He cannot “win” either way. If he wears it he is going to be seen as going against what he has tried to curtail–which is unnecessary pageantry. If he doesn’t wear it, he has people like you who seem to think he’s subverting tradition.


Wear a crown: not humble

Don’t wear a crown: not humble

Looks like the poor guy can’t win. Maybe he just doesn’t want to wear the crown, because of his own prudential reasons, just like previous Popes.


Well, let’s see. A quick wikipedia search will yield the following:
“Today, the word “tiara” is often used interchangeably with the word “diadem”, and tiara is often translated to a word similar to diadem in other languages.[3] Both words come from head ornaments worn by ancient men and women to denote high status. As Geoffrey Munn notes, "The word ‘tiara’ is actually Persian in origin — the name first denoted the high-peaked head-dresses of Persian kings, which were encircled by ‘diadems’ (bands of purple and white decoration). Now, it is used to describe almost every form of decorative head ornament.”[4] Ancient Greeks and Romans used gold to make wreath-shaped head ornaments, while the Scythians’ resembled a stiff halo that would serve as the inspiration for later Russian kokoshniks. The use of tiaras and diadems declined along with the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity.[4]"

I can imagine that in earlier times, before we could watch Vatican ceremonies on TV, when thousands of people were watching from afar, it would be fairly helpful to have the pope wear a big huge tall headdress which would show which one he was.


When something like the tiara of Pope Paul VI can happen we’re all just better off without them. I can’t see a picture of it without thinking of a giant egg in a small egg cup.


I could make one myself today (it wouldn’t look very good, but I could make one).

If I do that, would it be fair to call it a “papal tiara”? Sure, I could call it that. But no one would take it seriously.

There must be quite a few of them in Hollywood prop storage closets.

They exist, but no one would call them “real” or “authentic” or “genuine” unless some pope were to actually wear it.


Personally, I would like to see the tiara somewhat restored.

The office of the pope is unique and I think it fitting that he should have a unique insignia of his office.

I would really like to see a simplified version of a tiara (not ostentatious and not downright silly like the last one).

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