So much for papal infallibility. Embarrassed Vatican officials are recalling 6,000 commemorative medallions made in honor of Pope Francis after misspelling “Jesus” as “Lesus.”
They say that God is in the details, but what about Jesus? The Vatican has had to recall 6,000 commemorative medals bearing the name “Lesus” where “Jesus” should have been.
The gold, silver and bronze medals were made by the Italian State Mint to commemorate the beginning of Pope Francis’s papacy.
The medallions, which went on sale Tuesday, depict Pope Francis and a Latin phrase that he has said inspired him as a young man to pursue a life in the church.
In Latin, the phrase should have read: “Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando antque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me” — or “Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, follow me.”
The Vatican’s official press office told British tabloid Daily Mail on Thursday that four of the misspelled medals had already been sold before the recall. If the medals become valuable collector’s items, as is likely, their owners will have Lesus to thank.
Not quite. Loyal Readers™, it is now time to reveal our top secret mission: we have infiltrated the Vatican, summoned Lucifer (who it turns out spends a lot of time there…) and suggested that He surreptitiously change “Jesus” to “Lucifer” on the Vatican’s new commemorative medal proofs. He claimed it would be too obvious, because of course all supernatural entities are required to act in ways which are completely undetectable to people. I said I thought the resulting hilarity would be so worth breaking that silly rule, but unfortunately He wasn’t having any of it.
“Tell you what,” He said. “I’ll swap one letter. That way they’ll think it was just an innocent mistake.”
“Nooooo!” I hissed. “That is not going to be funny!”
“Of course it will. Trust Me.”
“Yeah, You know, You don’t exactly have a great reputation in that department.” I was sulking. The Palace had gone to great trouble and expense just to get this far, and suddenly the mission was heading south in a hurry.
“Maybe so, my darling. But it is you that I am talking to. Have I ever let you down before?”
He was so infuriating. And damn, could He turn on the charm. His smoldering black eyes locked onto mine, and He pulled me up against him. Hard. The heat was almost unbearable.
“Well? Have I?” He batted his eyelashes, deliberately, slowly. I was melting, and He knew it. My mind was growing hazy, filling up with drifting smoke. He smelled like burning flesh—the good kind, like a roasted suckling pig at a barbeque. Clearly He was turning up the heat a notch. Maybe two.
I was a highly trained Palace operative, dammit! How could I let my Loyal Readers™ down so easily? I gasped for breath and steeled myself with every ounce of my being, pulling back ever so slightly from his warm, intoxicating embrace.
He jerked back immediately. It felt just like it always does with Him, swirling in each other’s orbit, pushed and pulled by magnetic forces, holding us apart at arms length, no closer, no farther. This distance was excruciating. Painful. But I knew right then and there that I could withstand it. Could He?
“Pick a letter, or no deal,” He harrumphed.
“Deal?” I asked sweetly. I tried the eyelash trick, deliberately, slowly. If I wasn’t going to get exactly what I came for, I would make damn sure I extracted something else.
“Iris, I would do anything for you. You know that.” He looked deflated. It could always be a trick of course, but for the first time I saw in Him a hint of sadness. Not so as anyone would notice it—but I knew Him very, very well. “I just cannot confirm for the entire world that I exist. Not like this.” He slunk down to the floor, and his gaze drifted away.
I felt petty and…awful. Here I was, asking Him to finally break the silence of the gods that had held sway for millennia—and for what? A mere moment of amusement for myself and my Loyal Readers™. The fog in my head was lifting a little, and now I felt sick.
“Okay, one letter,” I said coolly.
He looked up at me, and His eyes widened. “Really?”
“Yeah, really,” I sighed. “You were right. It’ll still be pretty funny.” His nostrils flared, and I got a whiff of dark chocolate and cinnamon. “But You know,” I said, “I’m afraid You’re going to have to sweeten that deal.”
Christ, sometimes He looked just like a little kid on Christmas morning, about to unwrap a gift.
Now He was on His hands and knees, shape-shifting into a panther and back again, slinking towards me and licking his lips. “What can I do for you, Iris?” He slithered around my ankles, tentacles inching upward on the back of my legs.
“You know,” I said. “You know exactly.”