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Pope Francis to Raffle Off Gifts He's Received in Aid of Poor

Pope Francis is raffling off hundreds of gifts he's received from devotees around the world to raise money for the poor.
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ROME — As a head of state and leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis has received hundreds of gifts from devotees and world leaders since his election in 2013. But the pontiff is not the type to keep them in a trophy cabinet or let them gather dust in a Vatican warehouse. Instead, he will raffle the presents — including a car and expensive hat — to raise money for the poor, according to the Holy See.

The $10 tickets are available at the Vatican post office or the Vatican Museum for Thursday's raffle. Prizes include a four-wheel drive Fiat and a Homero Ortega hat from Ecuador, as well as bicycles, watches, an espresso machine, and 30 other unspecified “consolation prizes.” The raffle, which will be closed to the media, will raise money for the Catholic Church's poverty-alleviation efforts around the world.


— Claudio Lavanga