Pope Francis gives Vatican employees flu medicine for Christmas

A man holds a box of Vicks DayQuil and NyQuil acetaminophen pills at Walmart in Albuquerque, New Mexico Nov. 2, 2020. Credit: Giovanni Nastukov/Shutterstock

Vatican City, Dec 9, 2020 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Christmas at the Vatican will be a little different this year — and in keeping with the times, Pope Francis has eschewed a traditional gift for something a bit more practical.

Rather than a bottle of sparkling wine and the traditional Italian holiday cake panettone, the pope’s Christmas present to Vatican employees is over-the-counter flu medicine, according to Italian media.

Pope Francis is giving each of his nearly 4,000 employees five boxes of Vicks day and nighttime flu medicine with acetaminophen, Il Messaggero reported.

It is thought that the idea for the useful winter gift was suggested by the man responsible for distributing the pope’s alms, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who is known for his hands-on approach to helping Rome’s poor and homeless.

The custom Christmas gift is being distributed as the Vatican faces more financial losses with a new closure of the Vatican Museums, the city state’s largest income stream.

Since Nov. 3, the Italian government has decreed that all museums in the country will be closed to the public at least through Jan. 15, 2021, as one of the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

To date, the Vatican has had a number of COVID-19 cases among employees and residents. Since March, at least 13 people connected to the city state had tested positive for the coronavirus, mostly in the spring.

Eleven members of the Swiss Guards contracted the virus in October. The Vatican press office has not said if there are currently any active cases.

Last week, Pope Francis’ charity brought free flu vaccines and coronavirus tests to homeless people living in a town outside Rome.

The Vatican ambulance carried the medical supplies to the small seaside town of Torvaianica, and health staff from the papal charity office administered the flu shots and COVID-19 tests to 35 people in a courtyard outside the local parish.


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


1 Comment

Leave a Reply to Dr.Cajetan Coelho Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*