Here is an article about a company giving "free" cards of the pope that were described as a "closely guarded" image of the pontiff "near the very end." The photo is actually of the Pope during the start of his papacy taken in Canada. The free cards were mainly a gimmicked to try to sell $11 rosaries that were supposedly blessed by a Roman Catholic priest Fr. Balish. The Rev. Ralph Wiatrowski of the Cleveland diocese said no priest named Balish appears in the official directory of the American Catholic Church.
A couple of sample ads said.
Free: This is the closely guarded photograph of the late beloved Pope John Paul II taken by an official Vatican photographer. It appears at the top of the special large hymnal size Prayer Card.
The Vatican has authorized the release of the Prayer Cards to the general public through the exclusive Universal Museum Collections. To get a special prayer card and the papal Rosary delivered to your home call the National Direct Hotline 1-800-236-7918, ask for Dept. PE4347.
A representative for Universal Museum Collections said they will not run the ad again because of reader complaints. This was of course marketing fraud saying that the Vatican had authorized exclusive release of these prayer cards. The added bit about them being blessed by some fictitious priest with holy water from Rome is just plain scummy in their attempt to capitalize on the Pope’s death.