Popemobiles: 10 Things To Know About The Ceremonial Vehicle Of The Pope
The pope is the Bishop of Rome, based in the Vatican City, and head of the Roman Catholic Church.
In the past, during public appearances, the pope used to be moved around in a chair called the sedia gestatoria. This was carried on the shoulders of papal attendants.
But that changed after the incumbency of Pope Paul VI in 1978. Pope John Paul I succeeded Pope Paul VI and reigned for only 33 days before his death, and he was the last pope who used the sedia gestatoria. After then, a customized carriage was deployed to carry the Pope during parades.
In this article, we highlight 10 things to know about the popemobile.
- A popemobile is a specially designed motor vehicle used by the pope.
2. The Pope uses the popemobile during public appearances or parades.
3. Popemobiles are designed to allow the pope to be more visible when greeting large crowds.
4. Since Pope Paul VI first used a modified Lincoln Continental to greet crowds in New York City in 1965, there have been many different designs for popemobiles
5. Some are open-air while others have bulletproof glass walls to enclose the pope. The bulletproofing became necessary after the 1981 Pope John Paul II assassination attempt.
6. Some allow the pope to sit, while others are designed to accommodate him standing.
7. The vehicle registration plates of Vatican City all begin with the letters “SCV”, an abbreviation of the Latin Status Civitatis Vaticanae (“Vatican City State”). The vehicle fleet number of the popemobiles then follows it.
8. In 2002, Pope John Paul II requested that the media stop referring to the car as the popemobile, saying that the term was “undignified”.
9. In the past, the popemobile has typically used registration plate “SCV 1”, but plates “SCV 2” to “SCV 9” have also been used.
10. Since the beginning of the 20th century, many automotive manufacturers have produced specially designed vehicles for the Pope.
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