Skip to main contentAccessibility feedback

Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Mace

Short staff or club used in certain ecclesiastical situations

Click to enlarge

Mace.—(I) A short, richly ornamented staff, often made of silver, the upper part furnished with a knob or other headpiece and decorated with a coat of arms, usually borne before eminent ecclesiastical corporations, magistrates, and academic bodies as a mark and symbol of jurisdiction.

(2) More properly, the club-shaped beaten silver stick (mazza) carried by papal mazzieri (mace-bearers), Swiss Guards (vergers) in papal chapels, at the consecration of bishops, and by the cursores apostolici (papal messengers). When in use the mace is carried on the right shoulder, with its head upwards. Formerly cardinals had mace-bearers. Mazzieri, once called servientes armorum, or halberdiers, were the body-guard of the pope, and mazze (clavice, virgce) date back at least to the twelfth century (virgarii in chapter xl of the Ordo of Cencius).

JOSEPH BRAUN


Did you like this content? Please help keep us ad-free
Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission!Donatewww.catholic.com/support-us