Pope John Paul II Crys Tears of Joy After
Finding His Missing Hat
by Elroy Willis -- January 19, 2000
VATICAN CITY (EAP) -- Amid the recent talk of Pope John Paul II stepping down come rumors of not only failing health, but of a failing memory as well.
Most recently, he was seen bent over in frustration as he felt on top of his head and realized that he'd misplaced his hat. (See photo at right).
"I don't remember where I put my hat," he was recently heard mumbling to himself over and over as he wandered around looking for his favorite Holy headwear.
Papal aides say the Pope offered two days off with pay and promised to put in a good word to God for anyone who could locate his missing hat.
"It was like a treasure hunt," said 42-year-old Joseph Castillo, Vatican chef, who found the hat in the back of a freezer behind a carton of peach sherbet.
"I think maybe he snuck down to the kitchen to have a midnight snack and for some reason he put his hat in the freezer. Or maybe someone was playing a joke on him," Castillo said.
Overjoyed by the return of his favorite hat, he broke down into tears and cried like a baby.
Seen at left, wearing the missing hat and clutching a hankey, it's obvious that it was a very emotional experience for the aging Pope.
"He hugged me and said 'God Bless You' over and over," Castillo said. "I'm looking forward to my two days off, and thank God that I was the one who found the Holy hat."