I have just been reading this fascinating article in the Guardian about the Pope’s Courier. On average Thaddeus Kühnel does 150,000 miles to collect and deliver gifts from the Pope. This year he has collected his favourite German Sweetmeats (a carload full!) and a footwarmer.
With the Vatican issuing guidelines regarding environmental issues and encouraging their congregation to be greener, I felt they could have been a bit greener themselves. They could have used the secure (diplomatic) postal systems to deliver his items. Looking at it in more detail, I realise the safest, most secure option for him would have been a dedicated courier which is exactly what he used
When security is of the utmost importance a dedicated courier is the very best option, I hope that Thaddeus Kühnel has his vehicle tracked in case of hijack and remembers to secure his vehicle every time he leaves it. I am sure he uses up to date software to plan his routes - so that they are the most efficient. I know he will be co-loading whenever possible to keep costs down and make the fuel go further…
I also hope that Mr Kühnel has changed his vehicle since this article was published, as he could now become a target. It’s vital to keep things confidential as a courier and unless you have your customers approval, discretion is a must. Especially when your client is a religious world leader.
Kühnel drove from the pope’s home state of Bavaria to the Vatican yesterday to personally deliver this year’s boot-load of food, as well as five Christmas trees that were strapped to the roof of his car.
Lebkuchen honey and spice biscuits, stollen German Christmas cake, and chocolate were among the treats, Kühnel told German media. Of the trees, which came from the pope’s home town, Marktl am Inn, Kühnel said: “One is for the Pope’s living room, and two are for private chapels.”
Butchers in Marktl am Inn began selling Ratzinger sausages in his honour when he became pope in 2005.
There was also a present from the pope’s brother, Georg, 84, a retired priest. Kühnel would not reveal what it was, but said “usually they give each other practical things, like wristwatches and electric foot-warmers”.
Kühnel said he had already clocked up around 250,000km 150,000 miles in his car, delivering goods to the pope that he had personally requested, along with presents from his old friends, staff and distant relatives. “I deliver all the things he misses about Bavaria, including fruit nectar, Bavarian sausages from his favourite restaurant, advent wreaths and German sweets. He has a very sweet tooth,” Kühnel said.
“The first thing I brought to Rome, in my car, was a paschal candle, as well as some fruit from Adelholzen and mineral water. He likes the Christmas cookies that women from Bavarian parishes bake at home as well as those made at certain monasteries. He also likes the chocolates made in Aachen.”
The Pope’s courier, Dec 2008
It's not an easy job delivering goods from food stuffs to presents, but having a happy customer is very rewarding.
Sarah & Kevin