Archbishop Martin receives pallium from Pope Francis

Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Archbishop Eamon Martin.

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Pope Francis has presented Archbishop Eamon Martin with his pallium - a white woollen strip worn around the neck which symbolises the bond and union between an archbishop and Pope.

The Derry-born Primate received his pallium in a ceremony that followed the concelebration of Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Monday.

Forty-six archbishops representing 34 countries, who were named over the course of the past year, were invited to Rome to concelebrate the feast day Mass.

The wearing of the pallium dates back to the fourth century and pre-dates the mitre and the crozier as episcopal symbols.

Pope Francis has decided that archbishops should also formally receive the pallium in their own archdiocese - a move, he hopes, will “emphasise the participation of the local church”.

Dr Martin’s investiture with the pallium takes place on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Vigil Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

The Mass will be conducted by the Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown.