The symbolic value of bishop rings

The symbolic value of bishop rings

The Bishop is among the priests, one of the most important and invested figures with meaning for the faithful. In his role of “supervisor” (from the greek επίσκοπος, episkopos) he embodies in himself the value of souls pastor, the supreme minister of religion, teacher and guide.

Each bishop is a successor of the apostles, chosen by Jesus as his companions in life and the first recipients of his word. To them He gave the task to go and preach the latter, in addition to protecting his flock from evil, and this is what the bishops continue to do to this day.

Bishop's ring in 800 silver
Bishop’s ring in 800 silver

Are just one of the symbols that characterize these religious figures and identify them in their mission. The bishop’s ring, or episcopal, is a circle of precious metal (usually gold, but more humble metals can also be used) worn on the right ring finger by the Bishop as a sign of their own role and their own office.

Is the choice of obedience and service to the Church of the Bishop, his declaration of loyalty and intent, but also of his power over the faithful entrusted to his care. In fact, the bishop’s ring in his own form of circle represents eternity, infinity with no beginning or end.

The Bishop receives the bishop’s ring during the Ordination. The tradition of kissing the episcopal ring comes from the Middle Ages, when it was a sign of respect and submission to kiss the ring of the Monarch.

Can be decorated with precious stones, as tradition dictates, sometimes enriched with gems: the type of stone symbolizes the degree of the priest wearing it (sapphire or ruby ​​for the Cardinal, yellow topaz for the archbishop; amethyst for the bishop).

Alternatively, the episcopal ring can be free of stones, but decorated with carvings and friezes representing religious symbols, referring to an already widespread tradition among the early Christians.

In any case, is a liturgical object invested of great symbolic and religious significance for the wearer and for those who turn with faith and trust in the figure of the Bishop.