What is a Pontifical Coronation ?

On May 24 of this year, 2022, our parish will have a grand event for the Pontifical Coronation of Mary Help of Christians, our patron saint. The title, Help of Christians, was first bestowed upon to the mother of Christ by St. John Chrysostom in year 345 AD and the devotion to the title was started and was spread by St. John Bosco.  

Pope Pius V asked for the intercession of the blessed Mary calling her the Help of Christians when the Ottoman Empire tried to invade Christian Europe in 1571. The intended invasion failed and many Europeans became devotees of Mary Help of Christians. 

Witnessing a Pontifical Coronation is an extraordinary experience for Catholics thus many parishioners and devotees are anticipating this holy event. But what is Pontifical Coronation? What does it mean to the Catholic world? Is it the same as the Canonical Coronation?   

Pontifical vs Canonical Coronation  

According to Wikipedia and please allow us to quote “A canonical coronation (Latin: Coronatio Canonica) is a pious institutional act of the pope, duly expressed in a papal bull, in which he bestows the pontifical right to impose an ornamental crown, diadem or aureole to a Marian, Christological, or Josephian image or statue that is widely venerated in a particular diocese or locality.”  

With that definition it is clear that Canonical Coronation is approved or ordered by the Pope as declared in a papal bull. A papal bull is a written order or proclamation of the Supreme Pontiff.  

According to dictionary.com, the word pontifical means something related to the Pope or acted by the Pope. A Canonical Coronation is something approved by the Pope thus it is also called Pontifical Coronation.  

It is also important to remember that there are only 3 biblical characters whose images or titles can be crowned. These are Jesus, St. Mary and St. Joseph. 

What can be bestowed upon an image? 

 As per Wikipedia an ornamental crown, a diadem or an aureole can be bestowed upon the image during a pontifical coronation? Please see images below to differentiate one from the other.

Ornamental Crown

 Importance of Pontifical Coronation  

Pontifical Coronation started in the 17th century when Jeronimo Poulucci di Calboldi di Forli crowned the Nursing Madonna after his homily. The said image is now enshrined in the Sanctury of Santa Maria della Steccata , Parma City Italy.  

Catholics around the world are very grateful to the sacrifices of our Blessed Virgin Mary for the salvation of humanity and to honor her with a Pontifical Coronation is one good community act of thanking her.  

Likewise, St. Joseph also had sacrifices for our salvation being the foster father of Jesus Christ. He is dubbed as the savior of our Savior for he helped save the infant Jesus from the hands of King Herod who wanted the child killed for fears of losing his kingship. Thanking St. Joseph by way of a pontifical coronation is just as important.  

A pontifical coronation unites all devotees in upholding Catholic faith and traditions. It fuels the fire of Catholicism that that was started by the apostles and presbyters many centuries ago. 

Lord Jesus Christ is our King and crowning at least His Image or title on earth is one way of reminding everyone to put Him above all else in our lives. 

Crowning of the Lord Baby Jesus
Bestowing of the Scepter to the Blessed Mother
Crowning of the Blessed Mother

Some of the Images Pontifically Crowned 

La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc , the patroness of Ilocos Norte was crowned on May 31, 2018. The pontifical coronation was led by Cardinal Luis Tagle at St, John Parish.  

On April 23, 2022, Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio of the province of Cebu was pontifically crowned in the town of Boljoon.  

The Papal Legate Ildebrando Cardinal Antinuitti led the pontifical crowning of Sto. Niño de Cebu on April 28, 1965. 

On November 10, 1985, Jaime Cardial Sin instituted the pontifical coronation of Our Lady of Peñafrancia de Manila at Rizal Park Mania.  

Catholic’s existence for more than a thousand years has established many traditions that are still being practiced until today.  These traditions help us remember God’s love for us and the gift of salvation that Jesus has given us.

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Thank you.   


Mary Help of Christians 



Canonical Coronation 



RP News Agency 

All set for ‘Patroness All set for ‘Patroness of Ilocos Norte’s’ pontifical coronation    


CPCP News 

Cebu’s Patrocinio de Maria image granted pontifical coronation 



Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia de Manila 


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