Lamborghini on Wednesday gave Pope Francis a personalized white supercar, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
AFP on Wednesday reported that Francis put the vehicle up for auction to raise money for charity rather than forgo his traditional popemobile.
Francis also blessed the car at the Vatican before signing his name on its gleaming bonnet and sending it off to Sotheby’s auction house.
Lamborghini gave Francis a Huracan sports car, which boasts 610 metric horsepower and typically sells for roughly 200,000 euros (or $237,000).
Francis’s model, however, is expected to sell for more money as it sports gold stripes and gold-rimmed wing mirrors in honor of the pope’s gold-tipped stole.
The proceeds raised from the Lamborghini will go to four charitable projects, including one aimed at rebuilding the churches and homes of persecuted Christians on Iraq’s Nineveh Plains.
The supercar will also assist an Italian association aiding victims of human trafficking and prostitution rings.
The other two charitable organizations benefitted are active in Africa and aim at supporting children and women there.
Francis also auctioned off a Harley Davidson motorbike and jacket for charity after he received them in 2014.
The Catholic leader also decided to ride a bus after his election in 2013 rather than taking a limousine.
Francis typically rode buses in his native Argentina rather than rely on taxis, and he has remained committed to using the popemobile despite security concerns about it.
The pontiff enjoys getting close to people, and he often utilizes the open-topped popemobile to that end.
The popemobile has allowed Francis to move through crowds at masses at both the Vatican and other places overseas.
Francis lost his balance last September while riding the popemobile in Colombia, an accident that resulted in a black eye.
The popemobile began transporting popes in the 20th century after it replaced the previous mode of travel for the religious figures.
The “sedia gestatoria” was a ceremonial red silk-covered throne which was carried on the shoulders of people while bearing a pope.