St Peter bestowing gifts

Detail of a gorgeous mosaic from the apse of the Leonine Triclinium, i.e., the papal dining hall, at the Lateran. This is all that remains of the extensive palace that once stood here, and these mosaics are believed to date to the late 8th-century AD. The square halos around the figures kneeling by St Peter (Leo III, and Charlemagne) indicate that they were still living when the mosaic was installed.


It shows St Peter bestowing a pallium, a symbol of authority, on Pope Leo III, and also bestowing a banner, a symbol of protection and power on Charles the Great, the first Holy Roman Emperor.


This is a fitting image for today, 10 November, the feast of Pope St Leo the Great, not just because of the pope depicted who also bears the name Leo, but because it shows the extent of papal authority deriving from St Peter, something that Pope Leo the Great was at pains to teach and show.

Sid Simpson and Christus Χρ faved this
  • miltonmic 7y

    Interesting about the square halos. This is indeed a lovely mosaic. It was also the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica yesterday (AD 324).
  • mosaic art source 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Mosaic Art Source, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Sir Cam 7y

    this is really beautiful!
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Taken on July 28, 2007
  • ƒ/4.0
  • 72.0 mm
  • 1/250
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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