Pope auctions off motorcycle to charity

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 5:53pm

Pope Francis was presented with a Harley in June to celebrate the iconic brand's 110th anniversary.

Today, it was auctioned off to raise money for Caritas Roma, a charity that works on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

It was a case of re-gifting Vatican style, 2nd Corinthians...that the "Lord loveth a cheerful giver,” Pope Francis accepted it nonetheless.

And he even autographed the gas tank with his name in Spanish, Francesco, a signature that went as well on the motorcycle jacket that came with bike.

But what to do with the hog, as Harley owners lovingly call their machines?

It’s pretty hard to imagine any Pope, no matter how informal, wanting to jump on the back of a bike in his papal whites to let his chasuble fly free in the wind...

So the Vatican decided to auction off the Harley for charity. Caritas Roma in fact, the Catholic organization which runs soup kitchens and shelters for the homeless, with the auctioneer imploring the heavens to encourage the bidding.

That bid came from up there

Prices went steadily upward until it was finally sold for 210,000 euros, about 285,000 dollars, more than 10 times the sale price.

The winning bid came in by telephone and the bidder's identity remains anonymous.

The papal leathers, that motorcycle jacket signed by Francis, went to a different bidder for another 50,000 euros or almost 70,000 dollars.

And just to join in the charitable spirit, the auction company which handled the sale.

Sale as part of its annual auction of collectible vehicles in Paris, says it will not charge its usual 10 per cent fee.

The auctioneers say the pope was actually given two Harleys, so perhaps one day there will be another chance to bid on a "holy hog,” or maybe the pope will want to keep the second one for tooling around his earthly domain.


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