Pope Benedict XVI trading in red shoes for Mexican ones

Pope Benedict XVI trading in red shoes for Mexican ones
via Wikimedia Commons by Dieter Philippi

Pope Benedict XVI will step down Thursday, the first pope to give up his post in 600 years.

This is unprecedented and people are wondering how his vestments will change.

One thing is certain is that he will give up his red shoes that symbolize the blood of martyrs.

But he will trade them in for brown leather shoes made by craftsmen from  León, Mexico.

That is a region of Mexico that has been known for leather crafts for more than 400 years.

The pope received a gift of the Mexican shoes in a 2012 visit to Mexico.

“Mexicans will be happy to know that the pope very much appreciated the shoes,”  Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, announced according to the New York Times. “He finds them very comfortable.”

Armando Martin Dueñas, chairman of Ackerman, the company in León that designed the shoe, told the Metro newspaper that they made a shoe the color of red wine and also will make him additional pairs in black.

"For us, that he will wear the shoes is a way to confirm that he remembers us. It encourages and strengthens us that Benedict finds them comfortable and gives us the assurance that what we do we do well," Dueñas told Metro.

The college of cardinals will begin meeting soon to decide who will replace Pope Benedict XVI. You can read a column I wrote suggesting they need a pope from Latin America, Asia or Africa.

The new pope will wear the red shoes.

But as the 85-year-old pontiff walks away, at least he will have comfortable zapatos on his feet.

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