Rome: Finding the Perfect Souvenir

Finding the Perfect Souvenir

rome Mario Tama / Getty
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If you are not Catholic, you probably have a Catholic friend or colleague. Either way, you can bring them back a rosary blessed by the Pope; there are specialty shops near the Vatican that offer "certified" papal-blessed items. But why not do it yourself? In addition to rosaries, you can get a blessing for a cross or a Bible or any other object of religious devotion. Just bring your gift to the Sunday or Wednesday papal appearances (06-6988-4857) at the Vatican and hold up your goods when the pontiff blesses the crowd. Technically, you may get blessings only for items that would help you with your faith (no T-shirts, or designer scarves or bottles of olive oil), but according to a Jesuit friend of mine, the one exception to the rule is for Jesuits, who often hold up bottles of single-malt scotch or top-shelf vodka. They claim that such libations greatly assist their prayer and mission. For those unfamiliar with the liturgy, this passes for Jesuit humor.

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