CHAPTER IX. Mantellone.
1. Description. — 2. Prelates di Mantellone. — 3. A Transitory Dignity. — 4. Cappa of the Prelates di Mantellone.
1. The mantellone (a) is a kind of long purple mantle covering the cassock and reaching to the feet. It is open in front, and its collar, which fits around that of the cassock, is fastened with a hook. Two lateral openings permit the insertion of the arms, and two strips or bands, of the same material as that of the mantle, hang on the back from the shoulders down to the heels. These strips simply recall the sleeves which were formerly attached to the vestment. It may be that the mantellone was frequently thrown over the shoulders, instead of being put on as a coat, and so, the sleeves became a sort of useless appendage. (b)
The mantellone is always of purple material, plain silk in summer, and light cloth in winter. Its lining and trimmings should never be red, but purple. Custom, however, permits that they be made of a different shade of purple. (c)
2. The mantellone is the proper garment of those Prelates who hold a secondary rank at the Papal Court, and are called, on account of the costume they wear, "Prelates di mantellone." The complete list of the different classes of these Prelates has been given iri the first chapter of this book. It comprises the ecclesiastical chamberlains and chaplains of the Sovereign Pontiff, all of whom, with the exception of those styled "extra Urbem" (outside the city), are allowed to wear their prelatial costume both in Rome and outside.
Those "extra Urbem" are never allowed to wear their prelatial habit in Rome, nor to be called, while there, "Monsignor." They have all these rights only outside the City of Rome, "extra Urbem."
As a rule, the Prelates di mantellone are not granted the use of the rochet They put on the mantellone directly over the purple cassock. This constitutes the costume of etiquette of these Prelates when on duty in the Vatican Palace, and their choir-habit elsewhere, outside of the Papal Chapels.
When they want to perform ecclesiastical functions or administer sacraments, if they are not granted the use of the rochet, they lay aside the mantellone and put on a cotta over the purple cassock. If they have the privilege of wearing the rochet, they vest in the rochet and put the cotta over it (d)
3. As was remarked, the appointment of the Prelates di mantellone lasts only during the life of the reigning Pontiff. When he dies, they ipso facto lose their Prelacy. But they are readily reinstated by the new Pope, if they make application. (e)
The title of these Prelates is not that of "Reverendissimus" (Right Reverend), like that of the Prelates di mantelletta; but only that of "Admodum Reverendus" (Very Reverend). (f)
Though their stockings, and the cords of their hats, should be black, according to strict etiquette; a custom, approved by Pope Clement VIII., allows them to wear purple stockings, and also purple cords around their hats, but outside of Rome only. The cloak (ferraiolone) is always black. (g)
4. This chapter being devoted to the Prelates di mantellone, we must mention here a peculiar garment worn by these Prelates on certain occasions—the special cappa which they wear in official ceremonies.
This cappa consists of a large outer dress, open in front, reaching to the feet, with wide, short, cuffed sleeves. The collar is fastened in front with a hook, and over the shoulders is placed a plain closed cape of ermine. This cape is of peculiar shape, different from that of a Bishop's or a Canon's cappa magna. It consists of two superposed capes, the lower of which is some inches longer than the upper. Formerly both capes were made of ermine, but as this fur is expensive and warm, the lower cape is now generally made of silk, with only that part covered with ermine, which is visible to the eye. The upper cape is entirely of ermine, and covers the hood, which is attached to the lower cape, permitting merely the top of the hood to be seen. During summer, these capes are replaced by others of the same shape, but entirely made of red silk.
This cappa is of scarlet woolen material, with lining, trimmings and cuffs of amaranth red silk. The cappa of Consistorial Advocates, which has nearly the same shape, is purple with red trimmings.
The cappa of the Prelates di mantellone is worn directly over the purple cassock. It is used only in the City of Borne, at the Papal Chapels, consistories, etc., and, outside of Borne, when the Prelate acts as the special delegate of the Sovereign Pontiff; for instance, when he is charged to deliver the red biretta to a newly-appointed Cardinal living outside of the Boman Curia.
(a) "An Italian word meaning "a large mantle."
(b) Grimaldi, Congregations romaines, Chap. VII., p. 85, and note.—A. Battandier, Annuaire Pontifical, years 1899 and 1900.
(c) Grimaldi, loc. cit.
(d) H. Fisqust, Ceremonies de Rome, pp. 48, 138, 189, etc.—The mantellone must be laid aside for ecclesiastical functions because It is not s liturgical garment. The mantellone Is a livery-garment and, so, naturally should not be worn with liturgical Vestments, such as the rochet or the surplice.
(e) Battandier, Annuaire Ponifical (1905), p. 485.
(f) Grimaldi, loc. cit.