I served Pope Benedict XVI.
Stefan Vajda, an employee of our prestige hotel Ramada Grand Hotel Symphony, had the opportunity to be in the close proximity of Pope Benedict XVI., during his first official visit to the Czech Republic from 26 – 28 of September, 2009. For a moment, after the end of the Holy Father’s Sermon in the Spanish Hall of the Prague castle, he was his personal waiter.
Stefan, how did it happen, that you served Pope Benedict himself?
I was lucky, I happened to be in the right place at the right time. At the end of the Holy Father’s Sermon in the Spanish Hall, a small refreshment was prepared for the Holy Father and his personal secretary, and I was chosen to take care of the service.
What was your impression of Pope Benedict XVI.?
I was very pleasantly surprised how friendly he was towards me. He was very pleasant and communicative. He asked me for example about the health of our former president Vaclav Havel, and whether he still smokes.
What did you offer to the Holy Father?
He was very modest, drinking only fresh-squeezed orange juice, which I poured him from a carafe. Fresh fruit and chocolate truffles were also prepared for him, but he did not try them.
It had to be an exceptional experience for you.
Yes, it truly was… When he was leaving, he said goodbye personally, thanked for the refreshments, blessed me, and gave me rosaries and a commemorative medal. I truly did not expect that, it was an incredible experience for me.