How 2 Newlyweds Traded Hats With the Pope

“When I asked Pope Francis to switch zuchettos with me in Italian, he chuckled at me right before he reached for the zuchetto I was offering him,” said Mary Moritz. “Now I can say I made the Pope laugh!”

A lot has happened since Benjamin Moritz of Hastings, Neb.,  and Mary Isaak of Minneapolis graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, in May — the two got married, traveled in Rome, and traded hats with the pope.

“We went to Rome for our honeymoon so that we could partake in the Sposi Novelli (newlywed) blessing from Pope Francis,” Mary said.

She explained: “At the end Pope’s general audience, he blesses around 100 newlywed couples. We reserved our tickets over a year in advance, and through researching the blessing I read about the tradition of switching zuchettos with the Pope. We went to the Vatican’s tailor, Gammarelli, and bought one of Pope Francis’ custom zuchettos.”

“So now we have his zucchetto!” she said. “It was so great to begin married life with a Papal blessing.”

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.