Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Newsmakers

Vatican-Bound Santa Was Finnish Before He Started

December 24, 1987|SHIRLEY MARLOW

--Santa Claus started his holiday rounds a little early this year and delivered a gift to Pope John Paul II in Vatican City. Vilipekka Paukku, who calls himself "The real Santa Claus," traveled from his home in Finland's Lapland to meet the Pope at his weekly audience in the Paul VI auditorium at the Vatican. Wearing a fur-trimmed red coat and hat and sporting a white beard, just as his many imitators in department stores do, the bespectacled Paukku sat in the front row for the audience, attended by about 2,000 people. John Paul shook hands and exchanged a few words with some pilgrims, including Paukku, who handed the pontiff a gift. Vatican officials did not disclose what was said or the contents of the package. Paukku, who is a Lutheran, said that children send him half a million letters a year, telling what they want for Christmas.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|