The silk zucchetto, which once belonged to Pope Francis, and was worn by the Pope during an appearance at St. Peter's Square, Rome, on June 4, 2014, is up for sale at Catawiki. During the event in Rome, an Italian television presenter awaited in the crowd ready to hand the pope a new cap. Pope Francis took the cap and gave the presenter the cap he was wearing.

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The zucchetto is up for auction until April 24, 2016, with an estimate of $28 285-36 775 (€ 25 000-32 500.)

A large part of the proceeds from the auction will go to the charity Save a Child’s Heart, including Catawiki’s full commission fees.

Pope Francis gives the thumb-up sign as he leaves St. Peter's square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience Wednesday, June 12, 2013. Image via Metro Pope Francis gives the thumb-up sign as he leaves St. Peter's square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience Wednesday, June 12, 2013.
Image via Metro

The practice of prelates gifting their hats to a faithful in an exchange is not uncommon. Pope Pius XII began this custom in the modern era and it has been continued by Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.

Frederik Jamees, Catawiki’s specialist devotionalia auctioneer, comments, “It is extremely rare that a religious symbol of this magnitude goes up for auction. The Pope’s clothing is made especially for him, and after his death the articles automatically become relics, meaning that they are no longer allowed to be sold. This auction is a unique opportunity for museums, collectors and devout Catholics to acquire a 'relic in the making' and also to help others by donating money to Save a Child’s Heart. Given the Pope’s following, we expect to see an influx of bids from across the globe.”

Learn more about the charity here.

Check out Catawiki on Barnebys here.

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