One of the faithful wrote to us recently enquiring about the holy card that came with the Planned Giving brochure mailing.
I have a question about [the holy card with the Virgin Mary giving the rosary to St. Dominic]. Who is the person on the right side of the card? His cope is very unusual. The words on it translate to “Light of Heaven.” He seems to have a spike in his head and a papal tiara on a cushion in front of him.
Thanks for the question. Here’s your answer:
As to your question of who the person is to the right side of the card, it is Pope Leo XIII.
The words Lumen in Caelo on his cope are translated as “Light in the Sky” and are attributed to the prophecy of St. Malachy. He had prophetic mystical titles for all future popes from the reign of Celestine II (1143) until the end of time. Titles for more recent popes include: Crux de Cruce (Cross from a Cross — Pius IX) and Ignis ardens (Burning Fire — Pius X).
Although, at first glance, there appears to be a “spike” in Pope Leo’s head, it most likely is the artist’s rendition of a tuft of hair.
The card itself is a reprint from a 150 year-old book of prayers in Old German that was handed down in our printer’s family. Due to the rarity of the book, this holy card is essentially one-of-a-kind.
We hope you enjoy this card. We hope to issue more unique holy cards in the future.