Philadelphia wants you to have a plush Pope Francis doll

doll pope(Washington Post) Since Pope Francis announced his upcoming trip to Philadelphia, organizers have been in a tizzy. Where will people stay? What will they look at? And — what will they buy?

The pope is set to visit the city Sept. 26 and 27, in time for the closing festival for the World Meeting of Families Congress, an international event for Catholics focused on forging family relationships. He’ll attend an outdoor mass the next day. As many as 3 million people are expected to visit the city during the religious gathering, which is why Philly-based company Aramark is distributing merchandise to commemorate the papal visit.

That’s right, you too, can take home a plush Pope Francis doll.

“I’m looking forward to soon making my first purchase,” Mayor Michael Nutter, a Catholic school alumnus, said, according to the Associated Press. “I can assure you, it will be for my mother.”

The company will be selling more than 200 standard souvenirs such as keychains, cups and glasses, and T-shirts. One shirt reads: “I [love] Pope Francis” with a miter instead of a heart. There will also be faith-based memorabilia such as rosaries, which are expected to be the most popular items, Carl Mittleman, president of Aramark’s sports and entertainment division, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Price tags range from $5 to $500, with commemorative pins starting at $5 and a sterling silver cross priced at about $500, according to the newspaper. That plush pontiff will cost you $20.

Most items are branded with the World Meeting of Families logo, which shows a drawing of a family tucked inside the Liberty Bell and topped with a cross. Some proceeds will go to the local World Meeting organizing committee, the Associated Press reported.


The Washington Post