Earlier today, as is custom, Pope Benedict XVI blessed lambs whose wool will be used to make the Palliums that will be given to new archbishops on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29. The lambs are always blessed on today’s Feast of St. Agnes because of a long association between the saint and lambs (owing at least partly to a similarity in the name of the Saint and the Latin word for lamb, agnus). This year’s blessing is particularly significant for us in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis because Archbishop Joseph Tobin is one of the archbishops who will receive his Pallium from the Pope this summer – so the wool of the lambs that were blessed today will eventually make its way to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in the form of a Pallium. Only metropolitan archbishops wear the Pallium, and only during liturgical celebrations in their diocese and other dioceses of their ecclesiastical province. It symbolizes union with the Pope in his role as Supreme Shepherd of the Universal Church. See the video below for a report on this year’s blessing of the lambs.