Pope Francis has been showered with gifts since he was elected to lead the Roman Catholic Church. Now he’s raffling off many of those gifts to raise money for the poor.
The grand prize is a Fiat Panda 4×4, which comes fully loaded with options, according to The Daily Beast. Also up for grabs is a white Panama hat, a few bikes, a wristwatch and other items (43 in total), some of which are outlined here by The Guardian.
According to Reuters, the papal raffle is an unusual move for the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
“In the past, most gifts given to popes have either been quietly given away to missions, church institutions, or have gathered dust in a Vatican warehouse,” Reuters wrote.
But it’s not such a surprising effort for Pope Francis, who is famous for his ascetic way of life and has made fighting poverty a priority of his papacy.
“He wears clumpy black shoes instead of the custom-made red slippers favored by his predecessor, Benedict; refuses to live in the magnificently decorated papal apartments, and drives himself around the city state in a 1984 Renault 4 of the sort favored by Italian smallholders,” The Guardian said.
The pontiff recently ordered showers to be installed for the homeless around the Vatican.
Tickets for the raffle are 10 euros ($12.55) and can only be purchased at a few locations, including the Vatican post office and the Vatican’s tourist and pilgrimage bureau in St. Peter’s Square, The Daily Beast said. The raffle is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of euros. Raffle winners will be announced Jan. 8.
Kudos to Pope Francis for living what he preaches.
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