Hundreds of letters written by Pope John Paul II to Santa Claus reveal his late-life desire for a Big Trak and an Atari.
“They are a fascinating insight into the mind of one who, despite being head of the Catholic Church, could never quite get the Christmas presents he really wanted,” says Eamon Duffy, Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge University.
“Dear Santa,” begins one such letter from 1980.
“This year I have been a really, really good Pope and told everyone to be nice to each other and not wear rubber johnnies, so please, please, please can I have a Big Trak and an Atari. Thanks, love JPII.”
But sadly, he never got his wish and his letters became ever more intense, wrestling with his relationship with Santa, as one of his final letters to Santa in 2003 reveals.
“Dear Santa,” he says, on a letter seemingly stained with a Papal tear.
“I fear my time comes to a close and I will never understand why you have forsaken me.
“Every Christmas morning, I have rushed to the Vatican Christmas tree and never found a Big Trak or Atari shaped present, and seemingly now I never will.”
The Vatican have claimed that there is nothing unusual in the letters, stating for the record that current Pope Francis wrote to Santa this year asking for a Lego Dimensions, a Paw Patrol Paw Patroller, and a whoopee cushion for when the German Chancellor visited.