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Mozetta

Mozetta

An elbow-length black cape worn over the scapular, the mozetta has a row of nine buttons on the right side and nine button holes on the left. When a novice receives his habit, his mozetta has only three buttons, one for each of the vows: poverty, chastity, and obedience. These are an external sign of his commitment to be faithful to the vows. After he professes his vows (following a novitiate period of one to two years), six additional buttons are sewn on to symbolize philosophy, theology, and general education, those areas he will be studying as he prepares for the priesthood and for the rest of his life. The button holes, however, are sewn shut, highlighting the importance of the Crosier Cross on the habit, since it would be impossible to see the scapular’s distinctive Crosier Cross if the mozetta were buttoned.