Pope Francis raffling off expensive gifts to give money to the poor

A Fiat, an espresso machine and a racing bicycle are several of the items to be raffled off by Pope Francis to raise money for the poor.

By Gabrielle Levy
Pope Francis raffling off expensive gifts to give money to the poor
Pope Francis waves to crowd of well-wishers in front of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, August 14, 2014. UPI/Keizo Mori | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Pope Francis plans to raffle off a number of expensive gifts he's received and will give the money to the poor.

Posters advertising the drawing -- tickets are 10 euro each -- have been spotted on walls around the Vatican in recent days, touting prizes such as a brand now Fiat Panda 4x4, an espresso machine and more.


In total, the Jan. 8 auction will give away 13 objects, plus 30 unspecified "consolation prizes." Previous popes have quietly given away gifts to missions or other church institutions.

Francis has been vocal about his concern for the poor, eschewing many of the trappings of the papacy. He does not live in the papal residence of the Apostolic Palace, but the far more modest Vatican guest house.

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He appointed a new papal almoner, Polish archbishop Konrad Krajewski, whose job it is to respond to pleas for help. Reports last week revealed Krajewski is having showers built in the Vatican for the homeless who camp around the area of St. Peter's Square. He also has reasserted the Vatican's monopoly on the production and sale of papal blessings on parchment.


The prizes include:

1. Fiat Panda 4x4 1.3 JTD,

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2. Racing bicycle (light blue),

3. Bicycle (orange) with panniers,

4. City bicycle (grey),

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5. Tandem bicycle (white),

6. Sony HD digital video camera.

7. Illy Iperespresso coffee maker,

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8. JBL Wi-Fi dock for iPod and iPhone,

9. Ottaviani ballpoint pen with silver trim,

10. Leonardo Argenti silver picture frame,

11. Brosway gentleman's wrist watch,

12. PTM document case in brown leather,

13. Homero Ortega white panama hat,

Plus 30 "consolation prizes."

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