How Pope Clement VIII "Baptized" Coffee and Brought it to the West

coffee beans

As the flurries begin to fall in Missouri, many of us will turn to a cup of coffee to warm us up at the beginning of the day. For many coffee drinkers, it's a year 'round morning tradition-no matter the weather. It is estimated that over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day by those looking for that little kick to get them through their day. However, it is not as widely known that coffee was not truly accepted in the Western world until it was blessed by Pope Clement VIII.

While coffee was achieving popularity in the Middle East, it was met with harsh criticism in the West and was commonly referred to as "Satan's Drink."  As the story goes, Pope Clement VIII asked to try a cup of coffee after his court requested that he denounce the drink. After the taste test, tradition holds that the pope announced, "This 'Satan's drink' is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it." The pope then "baptized" the coffee beans to rid them of Satan's influence. After Pope Clement VIII provided his papal approval, coffee consumption spread through Europe.  

As we thank the Church for its part in bringing us this fabulous brew, we also provide a reminder from Fr. Mike Schmitz as to why (no matter how great it is) we don't drink coffee at Mass.  

November 13, 2018 - 8:16am

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