Religion: Man from the Vatican

Inside the tiny church, parishioners crowded close to get a better view of the visitor, dressed splendidly in a braided gold miter and brocade cope. As they watched, the prelate moved in front of a large table, pronouncing the words of blessing with a Maurice Chevalier accent and making the sign of the Cross over hammers and screwdrivers, a violin, a teacher's notebook, a housewife's wooden spoon, an artist's brushes.

The Blessing of the Tools is a Labor Day tradition at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Fairfax Station, Va., and this year the man who had come to do the honor...

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