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SAINT PETER'S SQUARE, VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - 2018/03/28: Pope Francis leads his Weekly General Audience in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Giuseppe Ciccia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SAINT PETER'S SQUARE, VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - 2018/03/28: Pope Francis leads his Weekly General Audience in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Giuseppe Ciccia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Pacific Press—LightRocket via Getty Images

Turns out being the Pope has some serious, very earthly, benefits. In the case of Pope Francis, he recently scored some pretty choice whiskey. Or as His Holiness called it, “very good bourbon.”

Last week, Father Jim Sichko, who serves as one of America’s Papal Missionaries of Mercy, was lucky enough to have a private audience with Pope Francis at The Vatican, and the preacher based out of the Dioceses of Lexington, Kentucky, choose not to come empty-handed. As Sichko posted on Twitter, he brought along a gift from “My Ole Kentucky Home”—a bottle of 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon.

Somewhat incredibly, Sichko said that Pope Francis immediately understood what was going down. “He knew I was from Kentucky,” the father said according to the Lexington Herald Leader, “so when I handed it to him, he immediately said ‘bourbon’ and I said yes, and then he said ‘very good bourbon.’” As if you bring the Pope any other kind?

The Pappy exchange was able to happen because Sichko asked a friend to get him something “special.” That friend knows Julian Van Winkle personally, so after Sichko passed the bottle to the Pope, he texted Van Winkle photos—to which Julian gave probably the most Van Winkle response you could imagine: “Grazie, Father Jim, very cool…. Well, we sure don’t need the publicity (not enough product) but this is awesome!!”

Meanwhile, it wasn’t just his Holiness who landed some lauded Kentucky bourbon. As Sichko showed in another tweet, he actually brought a stash of at least ten bottles with him to hand out at The Vatican. “All the PAPPYS, 4 ROSES and WOODFORD RESERVE made it to give to Pope Francis and his security detail!” he said of the bottles, which he was worried wouldn’t make it through airport security. “Thanks Be to God!” That’s a sentiment any traveler can understand, Catholic or not.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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