It happened some years ago.

During a trip to Rome, I visited the Vatican and found that close to St. Peter's, there were shops selling religious items. Some of them cater to the religious professionals - selling clothes and other religious hardware. Some had racks and racks of rosaries.

Other shops catered for the interested tourist/pilgrim. Different stock, ranging from the cute to the tasteless and bizarre. There, I found what I can only describe as the Generic Blessing.

Imagine a sheet of parchment. On it, it says something similar to :

Pope John Paul the II. herewith blesses the home, family and whatever of

_____fill in the blank______


Vatican City, the _____fill in the date ____

The procedure is as follows:

You buy a Generic Blessing (different models to choose from), then the shop staff fills in the blanks. It's then sent to the Vatican for something like a shotgun blessing, returned and either handed to you or sent by mail.

Now the interesting bit :

The standard issue Generic Blessing that costs $20 will cost only $10 if bought a couple of hundred yards further away from the Vatican. Identical material, identical blessing - at half the price.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.