(Vatican City, Rome) - Vatican officials say the Blessed Virgin Mary Museum and Coffee Shop is slated to open in the grotto adjacent to the Vatican Gift Shop in mid November of this year.
Over 2,000 different pieces have been acquired by the Vatican. Father Cianno Portociani, head of Virgin inquiries for the Holy See, stated in a press conference early Monday that his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI would be on hand for the dedication mass and opening ceremonies and was "thrilled" by the floor plan design and collection pieces that will be displayed.
The Vatican Gift shop will offer a greater line of merchandise to accommodate the new museum and coffee shop by beginning to offer items such as the Mother of God Swimwear Collection line, special coffee bean blends (made on site) to allow customers to purchase the coffee they enjoyed in the new Museum Coffeehouse, and a set of Mary Ty Beanie Babies.
The Cafe-Museum will include a display of the newly-discovered Mary grilled cheese sandwich (bought by the Vatican on eBay), a Mary apparition in a softball, and a original Mary spitoon (the one believed to be used by Mary during her chewing tobacco years).