Papal Gifts to Be Raffled Off for Rome's Poor

Fiat Panda 4 x 4, Racing Bike Among Prize Drawings to Help Needy Families

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Pope Francis is accustomed to receiving gifts from dignitaries. Bikes, footwear, even a car are among the many presents that have been given to the Pontiff.

According to several news sources, all those expensive gifts will serve a new purpose. The gifts will be raffled off and the proceeds will go to needy families in Rome. Tickets will be sold for €10 ($13) at Vatican Post Offices around St. Peter’s Square.

The top prize is a brand new Fiat Panda 4×4 worth more than $23,000. Among the other prizes are a racing bike, a Panama hat, a digital camera, and several other papal prizes.

The raffle is another example of the Pope’s care for the poor. Last week, papal almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, announced that several showers will be built near Vatican City for use by the poor.

Throughout his pontificate, the Pope has called on Christians to care for the needy. During today’s General Audience, he told the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that helping the poor is one of the many small steps toward holiness.

“Small things are small steps toward holiness. And every step towards holiness will make us better people, free from selfishness and being closed in on ourselves, and open us up to our brothers and sisters and their needs,” he said.

The drawing for the raffle will take place on Jan. 8, 2015.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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