Saturday, September 3, 2016

Maria Theresa's Chasuble

In Vienna, the Schatzkammer is displaying some of their amazing collection of ecclesiastical vestments, which are considered too fragile to be on permanent display. This is a chasuble worn by 18th-century Empress Maria Theresa; the image file calls this a "Black Ladies Chasuble," but I can't seem to find out what that means; perhaps there was some ritual in which the empress and her ladies all wore black dresses and these. Via The History Blog.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I suspect that "Ladies' Chasubles" means that they were donated by or made from fabrics donated by Ladies. It may also mean that they were used in a chapel dedicated to the celebration of mass for the female monarch and her Ladies In Waiting...?

Chasubles were used only by male priests in those days. I can't think of any situation, short of a fancy dress affair, when a women would have donned a priest's vestment.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

But wait, there's more: "The leading benefactress in the 18th century was Maria Theresa (1717–1780). She donated precious textiles for use in the imperial palace chapel and the chapels of the different imperial summer residences at Schönbrunn, Laxenburg and Hetzendorf, as well as in St. Augustine’s church in Vienna. The latter evolved into a major stage for Habsburg piety. Here newly-appointed bishops were invested. All these places were lavishly appointed with sumptuous ecclesiastical textiles." from

John said...

Thanks, that's very interesting.

And welcome to our little world.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John, I have been reading this blog for a couple of years - discovered it through The History Blog."

I've reposted a number of items on my FaceBook page, too! Good stuff.