Latin: pectus, breast
Also known as a pectoral cross. A golden cross, ornamented with precious stones, worn on the breast (hence its name), and containing a reliquary in which are enclosed relics of the holy martyrs, or a relic of the True Cross. It is worn by the Pope, bishops and abbots, vicars, prefects, administrators apostolic, and sometimes by canons. It is worn at Mass and solemn functions; and usually as part of ordinary walking dress, suspended about the neck by a silken cord or gold chain, and is a reminder to the wearer that in imitation of Christ he should bear with love and patience the crosses and afflictions which God sends him in this life. Formerly the term pectoral cross was applied to those crosses which enclosed relics of the True Cross.