Wilkes-Barre Factory Making Commemorative Pope Candles

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WILKES-BARRE  -- A million candles: that's how many a business in Wilkes-Barre is hoping to sell of its new line of Pope candles.

Bob Scocozzo owns Mia Bella's Candles. The businesses is named after his daughter—who also helped give him the idea of the pope candles.

“When we found out the pope was coming, she said that she would probably be working the event and was excited and she said, 'Dad, why don't we put a candle together since we carve!'" Scocozzo said.

There are two types of candles in the line and both candles have a photo of Philadelphia’s skyline on the front. One candle bears an image of the pontiff's face, another of the Vatican -- all hand painted by Lovie Welsch.

"It was a challenge for me; I had to get used to it but I enjoy, it, I really do. I enjoy this type of work,” Welsch said.

Her husband Randall carved the image of the Vatican and the pope's face for the candles' molds.

Mia Bella's says the candles smell of spices and some citrus, although it doesn't expect people to actually burn these candles.

"They're collector candles,” Scocozzo said. “It's going to sit on a shelf and it's going to have the commemorative label on there and it's never going to be burned."

Mia Bella’s will distribute the candles across the country and sell them in Philadelphia in September when the pope arrives. The candle company is also offering the products to churches to sell as a fundraiser.


  • Bev

    I saw this on my local news this morning, now I am not Catholic but there is something disturbing about setting The Pope’s face on fire. My Boyfriend who is Roman Catholic, born and raised in Brooklyn in an Italian family, is very offended by this . The candles that are carved like the Vatican are not a bad idea and putting his image on the label as a commemorative piece is fine., but the ones that actually have the image of the living pope , with the wick coming though his face is just so wrong.

    • Questioner

      I agree with you. Put his face on the glass holder if you must, but not under the wick. This is tasteless, tacky, and weird. But so is Wilkes-Barre.

    • Robert

      Good Morning to all.. These candles are not created to be burned but to be displayed as a reminder of the Pope’s visit to the USA. They are scented so that when the lid is off they will still scent the room.

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