Living and working in Vatican City is a lifelong goal for many of the world’s Catholic officials. Getting an appointment at the Holy See means you’ve achieved your chance to take part in the inner workings of the 2,000-year-old institution that governs the spiritual lives of the hundreds of millions of Catholics across the world.
However, daily life is still daily life, whether your job is in Vatican City — the world’s smallest fully independent country, according to Statista — or a more mundane city such as Rome or Ypsilanti. You’ll still need a bank account, and you’ll still need to withdraw cash from time to time so you can have some pocket money. As it turns out, the Vatican has you covered, as it has at least one ATM. Fortunately, it dispenses Euros, so your money is good not only in the Vatican’s walls but across the street in Rome as well, according to The Telegraph. But what you may not know is that the Vatican’s ATMs are unique from all of the world’s other ATMs in one specific way.
Vatican City ATMs give you the choice of instructions in Latin
If you are or ever were Catholic — in particular, if you practiced Catholicism before the late 1960s — then you are undoubtedly aware of the importance of Latin to the Catholic Church. Indeed, as Mental Floss reports, Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, was a particular fan of the language and was eager to see it elevated to more importance in the Church.
Latin also serves another purpose in the Vatican. Since almost everyone who lives or works there was born somewhere else, the few hundred residents of the country likely all have a variety of different native languages between them. A cardinal from the United States may not find himself getting very far with a cardinal from Senegal when the former speaks English and the latter French. But both will speak Latin. For these reasons, the Vatican Bank’s ATMs are the only ones in the world where users have the option to have instructions in Latin.
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