Will Pope Francis wear the traditional red papal shoes when he celebrates his inaugural mass on Tuesday, March 19? That is the question which Vatican followers are asking after observing that in the first two days of his papacy, the new pope has opted to wear an ordinary pair of worn-out black shoes.
Going against tradition would not be surprising from the former archbishop of Buenos Aires who has shown he is different from other cardinals by opting to take public transportation and not a limousine of a popemobile
It definitely would not be for lack of an available pair of red shoes since a new pair and the papal vestments are already on display at Gammarelli's shop window in Rome even days before the conclave.
"The day he was departing for the conclave, a couple of friends brought him a pair of shoes. He's always very humbly dressed and the shoes he was wearing were not in very good shape," The Telegraph quoted Vatican Radio's interview with Fr Ricardo Saenz of Argentina and Fr Carlos Padilla of Mexico.
Gone too are his pair of glasses. Daily Mail said Pope Francis will wear a new outfit maid of ivory wool, a white cassock with sleeves and 33 buttons to symbolise the earthly years of Jesus Christ and red shoes. The newspaper said several pairs of red shoes were actually made in advance in different sizes since the winner of the papal election was still unknown when the shoes were crafted.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is known to have at least four pairs of red shoes made by two different Italian and Mexican cobblers, but rumours were that he had a Prada pair, although Vatican denied the speculation.
The papal sartorial choices are now hot topics, including his being a fan of the Argentinean football team aptly named Saints of Saint Lorenzo, with photos of him holding a jersey of the team which has for one of its rivals the Red Devil's team.