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No. One common myth surrounding the papal tiara involves the claim that the words Vicarius Filii Dei exist on the side of one of the tiaras. The myth centres on the widely made claim that, when numerised (ie, when those letters in the 'title' that have roman numeral value are added together) they produce the number '666', described in the Book of Revelations as the number of the Antichrist. This claim has been made by some fundamentalist protestant sects who believe that the pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church is the antichrist. Three different sources are sometimes given:

- A protestant woman visiting Rome said she witnessed Pope Gregory XVI wearing a crown with the words on it, in or around 1832;

- Pope Gregory XVI had worn a papal tiara with these words clearly visible on it at a Pontifical High Mass during Easter 1845;

- The 'existence' of a photograph of a papal funeral at the start of the twentieth century (which probably means the funeral of Pope Leo XIII in 1903 but could possibly be Pope Pius X's in 1914) showing the words on a papal tiara. The tiara (with the words mentioned) is always used to crown popes, but specifically was used in 1939 to crown Eugenio Pacelli as Pope Pius XII. The claim is demonstrably false. Whether or not the numerised total of the letters in Vicarius Filii Dei produce the total '666' is irrelevant because no such title actually exists for the papacy or the Holy See. While the words did feature in the Donation of Constantine (now known to be a forged document) they referred to St. Peter and not subsequent popes. In 1832, only two tiaras existed; one from the sixteenth century and one, given by Napoleon I to Pope Pius VII in 1804. Neither contain writing.

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Q: Is there a photo of the papal tiara that has vicarius feli dei on it?
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