Vatican helps University mark 600th Anniversary

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Pope Francis I has joined in the celebration of the University’s 600 years, as St Andrews today received a special gift from the Vatican – a new papal bull.

Pope Francis has taken some time out of his busy first month in charge of the Catholic Church to send it across the continent, to the delight of everyone involved at the University.

Papal bull large
One of the original six papal bulls (image: st-andrews.ac.uk)

Like the original bulls, issued in 1413, this new one is white in colour and is branded with the names of St Peter and St Paul and the pope’s own signature.

University Principal Louise Richardson commented: “We are delighted by this gift; we set great stock by this bull as a part of our anniversary celebrations.”

The bull will be on display behind the Principal’s house in St Andrews, in the hope that scores of visitors may come to view it. This has been arranged in coordination with the staff at MUSA (the University museum), so the bull remains in safe hands.

However, students have been advised not to wear red clothing if they plan to visit, otherwise they risk the bull charging from its enclosure.

“I have no beef with the bull being on public display,” added Richardson. “And indeed I hope that students, town residents and visitors will flock to see this unique gift until the cows come home.”

“However, it is important to remember that it is of a temperamental nature and can be mooved to anger if provoked.”

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