Pope snowglobes of Vatican City

Today in my ongoing series of photos from my travels: religious snowglobes in a Vatican City tourist shop. Link


  1. That’s was Pope John Paul, who became JPI due to JPII not having any imagination in choosing his papal name.

    Does anyone know where a Shroud of Turin towel may be purchased? As a co-lapsed (ha!) Catholic I find any Christian tat, or ‘gifts’ as some people may call them, a constant source of amusement. If anyone is ever in the west of Ireland, in Mayo and near a religious shrine called Knock, skip the shrine part if yer not religious & go to the gift shop instead. One of the funniest places I’ve ever been.

  2. Not sure if they sell them in Vatican City or not, but outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem they used to (and probably still) sell portraits of Jesus that made him look all peaceful from some angles and all bleeding-from-his-crown-of-thorns from other angles. This was achieved with Cracker Jack toy technology–I think it’s called a lenticular lens, maybe? I’m sure some fellow nerd knows.

  3. this is really strange, man. I would like to see what other stuff they sell in a Vatican City tourist shop!! Holy crap!

  4. There are local stores in Rome that sell very expensive religious art. Lots of it is inspired, but it can be so gory. All that blood depicted with rubies…gold leaf everywhere. How did Christianity become so over-decorated? Of course the Romans are so well known for tasteful decorating. ha ha ha….

  5. As a raised-Catholic-practicing-Protestant/non-denominationalist, I have always, and always will, have a place in my heart for Catholic kitsch. Plastic dashboard saints, murals, creepy babies, creches, you name it, I love it. I am drawn to gift shops like these like a… well, what would be the comparison?

    I like Elvis paraphanelia, too, though not with the same nostalgic religious fervor… my love of Bruce Lee-related junk approaches the spiritual, however.

  6. @ #3

    It’s not just JPII who was unimaginative, as you put it, in choosing his papal title. There was Pope Pius X, Pope Leo XII, even Pope John XXIII. It’s not like they have a whole lot of wiggle room. Kind of like nuns. I’m still waiting for someone to call themselves Sister Mary Lolita.

  7. Ta, CHICKIE PANTS. The non-imaginative papal names thang does have an historical pattern – it’s just JPI (as he was to become known) was very new at the time.

    Some nuns at my school adopted (hilarious) names eg, Sister Edmond, Sister Alberta, Sister Columba and my fav, Sister Mary Bernard. I always picture her with a beard but disappointingly, she didn’t have one.

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