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Pope to Raffle Gifts He's Received, Raise Funds for Poor

  • Reuters

FILE - Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Peru's President Ollanta Humala during a private audience at the Vatican, Nov. 14, 2014.

FILE - Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Peru's President Ollanta Humala during a private audience at the Vatican, Nov. 14, 2014.

Want a white Panama hat owned by the pope? Now is your chance to get it.

Pope Francis is raffling off the Homero Ortega-brand hat, a new four-wheel-drive Fiat Panda, bicycles, an espresso coffee machine, watches and other objects he has received as gifts in order to raise money for the poor.

A poster recently went up around the Vatican announcing the raffle of 13 objects as well as more than 30 unspecified "consolation prizes."

In the past, most gifts given to popes have either been quietly given away to missions and church institutions or have gathered dust in a Vatican warehouse.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, has made concern for the poor one of the hallmarks of his papacy. He recently ordered shower stalls to be built around the Vatican so that homeless people in the area could wash up.

Tickets for the raffle cost 10 euros ($12.50), and the winners will be announced Jan. 8.

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