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Confraternity dress

Venerable Archconfraternity of S. Maria dell'Orto - Diocese of Rome


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Confraternity dress - (Lazio)

  • Archconfraternity of S. Maria dell'Orto

    As is tradition for the brotherhoods dating back to the Middle Ages, the habit of the Sodality is very simple, essential, and has remained unchanged since its foundation (1492). It consists of a large blue pure cotton gown or habit, long up to the ankles, that of the highest skies, the same that characterizes the mantle of the Blessed Virgin. On the chest, on the right, there is the image of the Madonna dell'Orto surrounded by a golden lace. Behind the neck hangs a "buffa", that is a hood that hides the face but which has two holes for the eyes: it was used for penitential processions, during funerals and to work in secret charity. At the flanks a belt of "capicciola" or twisted silk, always blue in color, with a long stretch hanging from the right side and concluded by a rich blue bow. The hanging part of the girdle - for humility - must be placed on the right shoulder or around the neck when receiving the Eucharist. Around the neck a "little face", a collar of pleated white cloth that, encircling the neck, highlights the obedience to the Statute and to the laws of the Church: being very visible, it must show everyone the obligation of obedience. Ordinary clothing to be worn under the dress should be as sober and decorous as possible. Again due to medieval simplicity, no signs of distinction are allowed for the various First and Second Order Officials, including Camerlengo. However, only badges of exclusively ecclesiastical decoration such as those of the pontifical equestrian orders or of pontifical collation are allowed. The habit of the sisters, instituted only with the new Statute of 1987, consists of a blue cotton cape, adorned with the image of the Madonna dell'Orto. Women are exempted from the white collar for purely practical reasons.

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