Pope Francis will raffle the many gifts he has received since becoming the head of the Catholic Church to raise funds to help the poor.
Since he has been in office, Pope Francis has received many gifts for which he has no use.
He has decided to hold a raffle for the papal gifts and use the money to help the poor in and around the Vatican. Posters announced the raffle would be in the area of the Vatican, advertising tickets for €10 (about $13 USD) each, available at the St. Peter’s Square Vatican tourist and pilgrimage bureau and the Vatican post office, as well as a few other choice locations.
The prizes include a brand new Fiat Panda 4×4 (painted papal white), several bicycles (including a tandem bike), a coffee maker and a Panama hat, along with many others, including as many as 30 consolation prizes. The raffle is scheduled to take place on January 88, meaning that the raffle tickets could make an excellent holiday gift.
Francis, well known for his dedication to an ascetic lifestyle, has taken great pains to rework the finances for the Vatican to free up more money for charitable causes. His idea to raffle off papal gifts is part of his continuing effort to help the needy. It comes on the heels of an announcement by his chief almoner of the initial stages of a project to put showers in the bathrooms at St. Peter’s Square for the homeless.
Since being elected, Pope Francis has avoided the extravagant appointments, which have been enjoyed by many popes before him. He does not reside in the gorgeously appointed papal apartments and wears plain black, rather clunky shoes, unlike his predecessor Benedict, who wore red slippers custom-made just for him. He does not rely on protected transportation, either; instead relying on a 1984 Renault 4 which he drives to get from place to place.