Mancinelli, the tailor who worked for 3 popes

Descargar documento

On Borgo Pio, a street parallel to the Vatican, an unassuming store is rich in papal history. It’s called Mancinelli Clergy and is owned by Raniero Mancinelli. He has been working in tailoring for nearly six decades and admits his Salesian formation has been a key part of his work.


“Humility and lowering my head when working, that is what I have sought to do. I have been blessed. I started working for a simple priest and little by little my work reached the pope. I served three popes and it’s a big deal. Many times journalists ask me, Now who do you want to clothe? I reply, ‘No one, because after the pope there is only God.’”

While his creations have been used by the last three pontiffs, it was with the pope emeritus that a friendship took off, back when Joseph Ratzinger was a cardinal.


“First his sister came to me. She was a very humble woman. I was shocked by the humility of this woman. She shyly entered the store and didn’t want to bother me. When Benedict was elected, they called me. I went to take his measurements after two or three days. For me it was something big.”

But he also had a special connection with John Paul II, thanks to a cardinal friend, who was the pope’s right hand man. He jokes saying it was because they ate the same cookies.


“My friend didn't say anything, he only invited me to breakfast and then asked me, 'How was breakfast?' I thanked him for the invitation. Then he said, ‘Do you know what you are eating?' It was a cappuccino and cookies. He told me, 'Those are the cookies of His Holiness, John Paul II.'”

Priests, bishops and cardinals come to his store. He is known for the quality of his products, especially the cassocks he has made by hand since he was young.


“I have made cassocks for many priests. Another part is liturgical clothing, which are made with the same quality. Sometimes we work with new machinery instead of making and sewing the cassocks by hand.”

Their cassocks, chasubles, miters, skullcaps and other liturgical vestments have been used around the world. He currently runs the company near the Vatican with his family.


“Bishops and cardinals who come to Rome for any sort of visit or to meet the pope come here and say, 'I had to come to say hi.' I don’t think it's a small gesture, it makes me very happy.”

Joy is one fruit of his work since 1962. After 58 years, Raniero Mancinelli says although times have changed, and liturgical vestments too, the best reward is doing quality work, which gives him a great moral reward.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Melissa Butz

Anuncio en el que salen 3 ordenadores marca Medion y algunas especificaciones
The most watched
The latest news from Rome, now in HD and without ads
Download the App on your phone
Available for Android and Apple
3,28€ per month or 32,88€ per year after 7 days of free trial
Available in multiple devices