Valentine Special

Twenty Cardinals were created in the second consistory of Pope Francis earlier today, on this red Saturday, feast of St. Valentine, the bishop-martyr whose skull is enshrined in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. As happened last time, Pope emeritus Benedict accepted the Pontiff's invitation to be present in the rite, to the joy of the cardinals and everyone present.

Each new cardinal, except eastern-rite Patriarchs, is assigned a church in the Diocese of Rome as his titular (in case of Cardinal-Priests) or diaconal (in case of Cardinal-Deacons) church. Historically, cardinals were clergy of Rome in charge of certain churches. Even though nowadays the title is mostly symbolic, a newly created cardinal picks a day for his installation in the church.

I have been to more than 300 churches in Rome and taking pictures of them. This enables to create his poster. I hope you will enjoy it.

Titular and Diaconal Churches of the Cardinals Created in the Consistory of 2015

Prior to the consistory, there were 5 cardinal titles and 12 deaconries that were vacant. There were 17 Cardinal-Priests and 3 Cardinal-Deacons that were created today. In the past, when there were insufficient vacant titular churches, deaconries could become titles temporarily to be assigned to new cardinals. However, with the ever-growing size of the College of Cardinals (due to younger cardinals and the limit of 120 only applying to cardinals less than 80 years of age), more and more Roman churches have been promoted to cardinal titles.

Two cardinal titles were created in 2007, one was created in 2010 and in 2012, and three were created in the last consistory in 2014. Today, 13 cardinal titles were created in the consistory, breaking previous records easily. This is also because fewer bishops from the Roman Curia or diplomatic services and no theologians are created by Pope Francis. The title of San Marco is left vacant in reservation for the Patriarch of Venice, who will very likely be elevated to the cardinalate next time.