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sic transit gloria mundi


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Thus passes the glory of the world; a Latin sentence spoken during the coronation of a new Pope, while flax is burned to represent the transitoriness of earthly glory. It was first used at the coronation of Alexander V in Pisa, 7 July 1409, but is earlier in origin; it may ultimately derive from ‘O quam cito transit gloria mundi [Oh how quickly the glory of the world passes away]’ in the De Imitatione Christi of Thomas à Kempis.


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