It's common knowledge that Pope Francis does not have elaborate needs. Still, it took months to make sure the Holy Father's stay in Philadelphia would be superior.
When the pontiff arrives at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on Saturday, he will move into one of 45 renovated dormitory rooms in the college division of the priests-in-training headquarters in Wynnewood.
There, he will see a Stearns & Foster model bedframe from Macy's with an eco-friendly memory-foam Loom & Leaf mattress by Westport, Conn.,-based Saatva. Bedding Industries of America donated the pope's mattress and the 59 others that will ensure the pope's entourage can sleep in peace.
"The excitement here is off the wall," said Stephen P. Dolan Jr., chief financial officer at the seminary. "We are really honored that we have the opportunity to host Pope Francis. This experience is incredible."
Between Aug. 24 and Sept. 14, Macy's delivered to the seminary more than $250,000 worth of home decor items, including curtains, bedding (350 thread count sheets), dining tables, and lounge chairs. Macy's donated everything, some of which was part of the Martha Stewart Collection, and worked with the seminary to assemble everything on site.
Although the seminary is tight-lipped about the menu that Dolan said the seminary's cooks are preparing, with help from the Sisters of Mercy in Merion, Francis' diet is known to be simple - mostly made up of fruits, salads, skinless chicken, and the occasional glass of wine.
But whatever Francis does end up eating will be served to him on china trimmed in 24-karat gold from Lenox, out of Bristol.
The company created and donated 40 sets of china in its vintage Republic pattern for the pope's visit. The five-piece settings, valued at $258 each, include a dinner and bread plate, a salad bowl, a cup, and a saucer. Lenox also donated gold-trimmed flatware, glass stemware, and several platters and serving bowls with the Republic pattern to be used during the pope's meals.
In addition, Lenox is donating a five-piece set of china with the Vatican seal, in hopes Francis will use for his meals when he returns to the Vatican.
"We want him to enjoy his stay and have an appreciation of the fine things that are made in America," said Sherri Crisenberry, vice president of Lenox.
Before Francis sets foot at St. Charles Borromeo, though, the papal entourage will land on a 9- by 75-foot blessed runner, donated by Langhorne Carpet Co. in Penndel, at Philadelphia International Airport.
The Wilton-woven carpet is red and trimmed in gold medallions, copied from a stained-glass window design in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.
"When we heard the pope was coming to town, we realized this was a momentous occasion and we wanted to be a part of it," said William Morrow, owner of Langhorne Carpet.
The basilica was so impressed with Morrow's work that it asked him to fashion two more permanent rugs - green with gold medallions, valued at $200 a yard, but also donated - for the basilica's rectory, where the pope and his attending cardinals and bishops will change into their vestments before Saturday's Mass.
The attire took six months for Chicago-based Granda to design and manufacture.
On Saturday, Francis will don a blue-and-white silk vestment and miter in honor of the Virgin Mary. He will celebrate Sunday's Mass in green and gold, which is traditional during weeks that do not have a special feast day.
In addition, Granda designed and fashioned 130 matching vestments and miters for the bishops and cardinals who will celebrate Mass with the pope. (The 65 priests needed two vestments each to match the pope's.) Granda also made eight dalmatics - vestments with bell sleeves - for the four deacons who will be on the altar both days.
Finally, the Harpswell chair by Thos. Moser made for Sunday's Mass will be placed on a gold carpet courtesy of Flemington Department Store - the same company that provides the red carpet for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Met Gala.
(After the pope leaves, the carpet will be cut up and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone who emails Flemington Department Store at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
"It's my honor," said Ted Resnick, one of the owners of Flemington, which donated the gold carpet, as well as the white carpet for the altar, and the carpet that was part of the St. Charles Borromeo renovation.
"There are some things that you just don't charge people for," Resnick said. "This is one of them."