By Vatican News
The Pope’s contribution aids the work of UNITALSI, the Italian National Union of Transport for the Ill to Lourdes and International Sanctuaries.
The charitable organization is dedicated to assisting the sick in travelling to Lourdes and other shrines around the world.
The proceeds of the auction will be used to bring children from the cancer ward of Rome’s Gemelli University Hospital to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
“The Holy Father has always been close to children,” said Preziosa Terroni, the president of UNITALSI’s Rome-Lazio section, which organized the auction.
She recalled in particular a private meeting at the Casa Santa Marta, when Pope Francis was able to meet with 22 seriously ill children being treated at Gemelli Hospital.
Pope Francis’s Second Personal Secretary, Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, delivered the bicycle to UNITALSI, with the hope that it would be transformed “into an instrument of solidarity.”
In their announcement of the donation, UNITALSI described the Pope’s gift as “a further gesture of tenderness on the part of the Holy Father, who throughout the years of his pontificate has graciously expressed, in various ways, his closeness to UNITALSI."
Donations for the charitable initiative can be made online at the UNITALSI Rome-Lazio website: www.unitalsiromanalaziale.it.