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Cathedral galero honors Cardinal Medeiros

Three wide-brimmed red hats, called galeros, honoring Boston’s late cardinals hang over the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross at the March 30 Chrism Mass. The galero honoring Cardinal Humberto Medeiros (far left) joined the galeros of Cardinals O’Connell and Cushing the day before. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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BRAINTREE -- In a small and largely unheralded event at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross at the beginning of Holy Week, the Archdiocese of Boston honored the legacy of a former archbishop.

On March 29, the Monday of Holy Week, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, cathedral rector Father Kevin O’Leary and other staff members witnessed the hanging of a galero from the cathedral’s ceiling to honor Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, Archbishop of Boston from 1970-1983.

“We’ve always had a great love for the name of Cardinal Medeiros,” said Father Jonathan Gaspar, a co-director of the archdiocese’s Office of Worship and Spiritual Life and priest secretary to Cardinal O’Malley. “He was well respected by the priests of the diocese who were privileged to work with him. It was a moment of thanking God for a great man and a call to pray for all the priests and religious who built Boston up.”

Father Gaspar said that the galero was hung in honor of Cardinal Medeiros to mark the 25th anniversary of his death, and also as a reminder of the Year for Priests.

“It’s a reminder to pray for the deceased archbishops and a nod to our own history,” he said.

A galero is the wide-brimmed red hat with tassels once given to cardinals by the pope at their consistory. Since the 1970s, however, new cardinals have been presented with a small three-cornered cap called a biretta and galeros are mostly seen only depicted in the coats of arms of bishops and cardinals.

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