VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has donated his Harley Davidson motorcycle to be sold to raise money for a hostel and soup kitchen that serves Rome’s homeless.
“It is a precious gift that has once again made us happy in feeling the closeness of our bishop to the poor of the Church of Rome. We are deeply grateful to Pope Francis for this,” Msgr. Enrico Feroci, the director of Caritas Rome, said at an Oct. 12 press conference.
The sale of the motorcycle will fund the renovation of Caritas’ Don Luigi di Liegro Hostel and Soup Kitchen at Rome’s Termini station. The two projects have operated since 1987 to help relieve the suffering of about 1,000 people every day, Caritas Rome reports.
Msgr. Feroci thanked Pope Francis on behalf of everyone who will benefit from “this act of hospitality and solidarity.” He assured the Pope that the poor will continue to pray for the “precious work that he is doing in the vineyard of the Lord.”
The Harley Davidson Motor Co. presented two of its motorcycles and a biker jacket to Pope Francis in June, when Rome hosted the 110th anniversary celebration of the iconic American motorcycle. On June 16, the Pope blessed about 800 bikers and their rides in St. Peter’s Square.
Pope Francis has encouraged clergy and religious to show humility in their choice of transportation.
In July, he told a group of seminarians and religious novices that he felt hurt when he sees a priest or a sister with a brand-new car.
“And, if you like that beautiful car, think about how many children are dying of hunger,” he said, urging them to choose simpler transportation options.
As a cardinal in Argentina, Pope Francis was well known for taking public transportation.
In September, the Pope accepted an Italian priest’s gift of a used Renault 4 with 186,000 miles on its odometer.