Pope Francis's calotte up for auction, with proceeds going to Israeli charity

Pontiff to donate iconic white skullcap and donate 35,000 euro from online auction to the Save a Child’s Heart nonprofit in Holon.

April 11, 2016 18:17
1 minute read.
Pope Francis.

Pope Francis.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Pope Francis’s white skullcap has been donated for auction to raise an expected €35,000 for an Israeli charity, Wolfson Medical Center’s Safe a Child’s Heart.

The white calotte (cap) will be sold online by Catawiki, the online auction house, which expects enormous interest in this item.

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) is an Israel-based international nonprofit organization, known worldwide for its commitment to saving lives by improving cardiac care for children from developing countries and creating centers of medical competence in these countries. The organization, founded by the late cardiothoracic surgeon Dr.

Ami Cohen, provides life-saving cardiac surgery and other lifesaving procedures at the Holon hospital.

SACH has saved the lives of 4,000 children from 50 developing countries and trained more than 100 medical team members from these countries. By fixing hearts – regardless of race, religion, gender, nationality or financial status – SACH contributes to a more peaceful and productive world; a happier, healthier world for all children, and their families.

In 2014, in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis traded his distinctive white calotte with an Italian television host in the crowd for an identical copy.

The pope placed the traded cap directly on his head. The trade was recorded by TV cameras and broadcast across the world. Now the man who received the calotte from the pope wants to do something good with it and will donate a large portion of the proceeds to SACH.

According to auctioneer Frederik Jamees, “devotionalia” expert at Catawiki, offering an item of papal clothing for sale for charity is highly unusual. “The pope’s clothing is made specially for him.

After a pope’s death, the articles of clothing automatically become relics, meaning that they are no longer allowed to be sold. Since the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church has prohibited the trade of relics. A deceased pope’s clothing must therefore never be sold. This auction is a unique opportunity for museums, for example, to acquire a “relic in the making.”

“Items used or touched by the pope are highly desired all over the world, and I expect to see bids coming in from across the world for this calotte,” said Jamees.

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