18 November 2014, The Tablet

Francis raffles off official gifts for charity, top prize a papal-white Fiat

Since his appointment last year he has been showered with lavish gifts from royalty, world leaders and luxury goods-makers.

Bahraini King with Pope FrancisBut in keeping with his famously frugal reputation Pope Francis has declined to keep the generous presents for himself and is to raffle them off for charity, according to reports.

The top prize is a Fiat Panda in papal white, with four runners-up winning one of a selection of bikes including a tandem and a racing bike.


Sixth prize in the raffle, which costs €10 to enter and is to be drawn on 8 January, is a HD video camera, the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported.

Austrian President with Pope Francis

Also up for grabs are an Illy coffee machine and a Panama hat by luxury manufacturer Homero Ortega, alongside more mundane presents including watches, silver photo frames, pens, briefcases and shoes.

Umbrellas, perfumes and shoes also form part of the prizes.


Tickets can be bought by anyone and are available at Vatican post offices and museums.

Pope Francis has often called for "a Church for the poor", and telling his official alms-giver Archbishop Konrad Krajewski that he “wouldn’t need a desk” but should be out on the streets looking for people in need.

Prince Philip and the Queen hand Pope Francis whisky

On Tuesday morning's Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae he said that a Christian’s faith can be measured by how often they put their hand in their wallet to help others.

He said it wasn’t enough to go lukewarm to Mass and lead a life without grave sin. "True conversion is putting your hand in your pocket," he said.

Above: For me? Pope Francis has received all sorts of gifts and is raffling some of them off for charity. Reportedly absent from the list of raffle prizes was the whisky given him by the Queen in April, part of a hamper he said would be enjoyed by staff at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Photos: CNS

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