Vatican City, Dec 9, 2020 / 06:00 am America/Denver (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.