Regulars of Hallowed Grounds, the fourth most popular coffee shop in Reynolds Club, were surprised last Sunday to see the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, his Holiness Pope Francis I, enter the coffee shop with a retinue of cardinals and a full complement of the Swiss Guard. His Holiness’ arrival was preceded by a trumpet fanfare and a jarring series of clunking noises as the Popemobile trundled up the narrow stairwell leading to Hallowed’s doors, Francis solemnly waving from within at the six customers in the cafe.
As the Pope emerged from his vehicle, both baristas leapt over the bar and prostrated themselves before him, kissing his shoes and murmuring a Latin oath of loyalty to the Holy See. Francis bid them to rise, making the sign of the cross over both of them before ordering an iced Americano. He then began to slowly pace the cafe reciting Acts 7:33, an attendant following closely behind with a lit censer. As the cafe filled with heady clouds of incense, Francis bumped into a pool player, throwing off his shot. When the man turned around, raising his pool cue in anger, he was tackled by a member of the Swiss Guard disguised as a crate of San Pellegrino.
As Francis reached the inactive fireplace at the end of the cafe, the cardinals arranged the chairs and tables to face the Servum Servorum, who performed full mass in Latin, English, and the official tongue of Hallowed Grounds, Old Church Slavonic. He then led communion, picked up his Americano, and left the building.
In the subsequent days, long processions of pilgrims from across the globe have come to observe the newly-hallowed Hallowed. Christians of all stripes have entered, treading the same path that the Pontiff did, stopping before the fireplace, violently elbow-checking anyone playing pool, and praising the espresso machine for nourishing the body of the Pope as surely as he did nourish their souls.