For the past six years, the Pontiff’s Vatican apartment has been run by members of the Memores Domini, a lay association whose members practice obedience, poverty and chastity, and who live in a climate of silence and common prayer.
Loredana is the queen of the kitchen, which was renovated in 2005 with onyx countertops and gray shelves. She prepares meals on a big marble table for Benedict, who turns 84 on Saturday, and any invited guests. Pasta dishes are her specialty: including pasta with salmon and zucchini, or rigatoni with prosciutto. She keeps in touch with the Vatican supermarket and chooses which vegetables to get from the garden of Castel Gandolfo, a papal retreat in the hills south of Rome.
Carmela helps in the kitchen, where she specializes in cakes the Pope has appreciated since his days as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. His favorites are strudel, tiramisu and tarts. Carmela also tidies the Pope’s bedroom and looks after his wardrobe.
– Andrea Tornelli
Pope Benedict (Wikipedia/CC 2.5)