"More than one, I've done more than one.”
Starting with John Paul II, the Vatican called upon Mancinelli to build his papal robes. It was also during that time, that he met Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
"Everyone describes him as a somewhat cold person, somewhat rigid. Instead, I have known him as a person that is very sympathetic, humble, modest, affectionate and sweet, surely.”
Over the years his work has brought him closer to him than many other people outside the Vatican walls.
So, in 2005, when Cardinal Ratzinger emerged from the conclave as Benedict XVI, it was only natural that the person he would call to make the traditional white papal tunic would be him.
"At first, I couldn't think, then I was very excited, and a little shaken because it gives you great pleasure. Part of the work I do can be called upon by the Pope, it's something that gives you great joy and satisfaction.”
A photo proudly hangs inside his store about another time when Mancinelli personally delivered several finished items to the Pope.
He says he's saddened by his resignation. But notes that the next Pope may be among his clients, though he doesn't venture to guess which one.
"I know a lot of cardinals, but I cannot say. It could be one or it could be another, it's not easy because it is a bit sudden. There is no time to prepare, to say one can win or another.”
In the meantime, he chooses to focus on Benedict XVI, to continue to show his admiration for him. Though he is saddened by his departure, he is glad he'll be around, and hopes to be able to continue making the clothes for his retirement.