Philadel­phia of­fi­cials re­veal ar­ray of sou­venirs ahead of pope’s visit

The China Post - - LIFE -

Key­chains, rosaries, T- shirts and even a minia­ture plush doll of Pope Fran­cis will be among the sou­venirs for sale to com­mem­o­rate the pon­tiff’s up­com­ing trip to Philadel­phia.

Of­fi­cials on Mon­day gave the public a peek at some of the keep­sakes to be sold on­line start­ing this month. More than 200 items will be avail­able, with prices rang­ing from US$ 5 to US$ 500.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to soon mak­ing my first pur­chase,” said Mayor Michael Nut­ter, an alum­nus of lo­cal Catholic schools. “I can as­sure you, it will be for my mother.”

The pope plans to visit Philadel­phia in Septem­ber for the World Meet­ing of Fam­i­lies, an in­ter­na­tional gath­er­ing for Catholics fo­cused on strength­en­ing fam­ily bonds.

Much of the me­mora­bilia — such as cups, glasses and ap­parel — will bear the World Meet­ing logo, which in­cor­po­rates fam­ily fig­ures into a Lib­erty Bell shape topped with a cross.

Some items are play­ful, like the shirt that says “I ( love) Pope Fran­cis” with a miter in place of a heart. Faith- based prod­ucts in­clude rosaries and holy medals.

The mer­chan­dise will be dis­trib­uted by Ara­mark, a food and fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment com­pany based in Philadel­phia, with some pro­ceeds ben­e­fit­ing the lo­cal World Meet­ing or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee. Although ini­tially avail­able on­line only, sou­venirs will be sold at re­tail sites dur­ing the con­vo­ca­tion.

The pope plans to at­tend the closing fes­ti­val of the World Meet­ing on Sept. 26. The next day, he will cel­e­brate an out­door Mass that more than 1.5 mil­lion pil­grims are ex­pected to at­tend.

Be­fore Philadel­phia, Fran­cis will visit Wash­ing­ton and New York.

AP

Philadel­phia Mayor Michael Nut­ter dis­plays a Pope Fran­cis doll dur­ing a news con­fer­ence in Philadel­phia, Mon­day, June 1.

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