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Paul VI Crowned 262nd Pope

June 30, 1963 - Paul VI was crowned the 262nd Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in a magnificent open-air ceremony in St. Peter’s Square this evening. The Pope addressed a homily, or sermon, to the crowd in nine languages as part of the three-hour rite. He declared that he intended to devote himself to promoting “greater mutual comprehension, charity, and peace” among peoples. The high point of the ceremony came after sundown when the Pope’s throne was brilliantly illuminated by floodlights against the surrounding darkness. Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, the dean of the Cardinal Deacons, who is almost blind, held the triple crown high over the Pope’s head where the crowd could see it. The semiprecious jewels of the crown flashed in the floodlights as Cardinal Ottaviani lowered it slowly and placed it firmly on the Pope’s head. At the same time, his voice came thundering over loudspeakers in Latin: “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art the Father of Princes and Ruler of Kings, the Vicar on Earth of Our Savior Jesus Christ to whom is honor and glory through the ages.” The boom of the big bells of St. Peter’s, soon taken up by the peals of the bells of 500 churches, told Rome that the new Pope had been crowned.

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