06/24/2019, 14.33
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Card Gracias returns "Golden Lily" Chalice to Orvieto for Corpus Domini

by Nirmala Carvalho

The golden chalice was donated by Pope Paul VI to the Archdiocese of Mumbai in 1964. In his turn, the pontiff had received it as a gift for the 700th anniversary of the Cathedral of Orvieto. The Cardinal participated in a procession in Bolsena, city of the Eucharistic miracle.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI), celebrated the Corpus Domini Mass in the cathedral of Orvieto yesterday. For the occasion, a delegation from the Indian archdiocese returned the "Golden Lily", chalice gifted to them by Pope Paul VI during his apostolic journey to India in 1964.

The celebration began at 9am yesterday morning. After the Mass, the cardinal met the wife and son of Marcello Conticelli, the craftsman who made the precious chalice. Later, in the afternoon, he went to Bolsena - city of the Eucharistic miracle - where he participated in a procession.

The "Golden Lily", explains Fr. Warner D'Souza, director of the Archdiocesan Heritage Museum in Mumbai, was created by Orvieto craftsmen Marcello Conticelli and Luciano Coppola based on a design by architect Alberto Stramaccioni. The artifact was given to Pope Paul VI on 11 August 1964, on the occasion of his visit for the celebrations of the 700 years of the cathedral.

In December of the same year, the pontiff, on an official visit to India for the celebrations of the 38th National Eucharistic Congress, gave the chalice to the Archdiocese of Bombay, today Mumbai. In giving it to the then archbishop [Card. Valerian Gracias, ed], he said: "For the poorest Church in the world, the most precious gift received during my pontificate".

The work is composed of the gold chalice in the shape of a lily, in honor of the Orvieto cathedral, the façade of which is full of golden mosaics and thus giving it the name the "Golden Lily of the cathedrals". It is kept at the Archdiocesan Heritage Museum of Mumbai, the country's second-largest museum of Christian religious art which houses artifacts dating back to the 16th century. There it will return after being on display at  June 17 to 22 at the MODO - Museum of the Opera del Duomo, in Cathedral's Treasury Room.

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