The question on my brain and the answer from London’s Daily Mail:
Why the Pope Wears Red Shoes
“Benedict XVI’s red loafers have drawn attention since he became Pope in 2005.
Dubbed the “Prada Pope” after the maker of the shoes, Benedict has been seen wearing the ruby red shoes during his trips and other important events.
The loafers are seen as a statement of his desire to demonstrate continuity with the symbols and history of the Church.
His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, wore brown shoes, which stood out. Though wearing red shoes is a papal tradition, the practice is optional.
Theology Professor Lawrence Cunningham of Notre Dame, in a podcast for NPR.org, said the Pope’s red shoes symbolize the blood of martyrdom.
“Traditionally, in the Catholic Church, the color red commemorates the blood of martyrdom … Fire and red are identified with the Holy Spirit,” Cunnigham said.
The shoes cost around $640 a pair, but the Pope gets them for free.”
P.S. The watch is Cartier.
I’ve been joking that I’m going to start a website called popewatch.com so we know where he is at all times. I’m thinking of somehow bringing google maps into play with this scenario.
I initially came up with that idea last summer, while visiting the Vatican and seeing so many people being disappointed that the pope was not “at home,” but rather, at his seaside summer residence. There’s no sign that tells you if he’s in or not — somehow I had it in my head that it would be like visiting Santa Claus with a little clock sign up on his throne pointing to the time he’d be back. This is not the case, instead, you have to actually ask someone that works there. But it’s pretty much implied that during the summer months, no one is actually home in a city if they have the means not to be (pope included).
If the pope is home, he appears at his fourth floor window, which is thrown open and a red velvet banner is placed over the sill. As in our case however, the window remained shut tight against the 110 degree heat. Thus, popewatch.com so you know where he is at all times. This would be especially useful when it comes to traffic (especially in and around Rome) and when he visits other cities around the world, since it literally cripples transportation.
While the pope’s in our city, I will be happily ensconced in the suburbs, enjoying the lovely weather, our visitors from D.C., seder dinner and the beauty of having a street to escape to that the pope won’t be cruising down anytime soon.