Pope Francis. (neneo/Shutterstock) (neneo/Shutterstock)
Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ calotte will be used to fund cardiac care for children around the world who are treated by an Israeli organization in Israel.  

Pope Francis’ white skullcap, the calotte, was donated to an online auction to raise money for an Israeli charity, Save a Child’s Heart (SACH).

The pope’s head-covering, which is expected to bring in $36,000, was famously seen when the pope traded skullcaps with an Italian television show host in Rome two years ago. The journalist who offered the pope a similar skullcap in the exchange is now selling it to raise money.

The online auction house involved in the process, Catawiki, said a large part of the proceeds and commission feeds will be donated to SACH.

“It is extremely rare that a religious symbol of this magnitude goes up for auction,” Catawiki auctioneer Frederik James said. “The Pope’s clothing is made special for him and after his 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.”

Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli-based international, non-profit organization, known worldwide for its commitment to saving lives by improving the quality of cardiac care for children from developing countries and creating centers of medical competence in these countries.

Save a Child’s Heart provides life-saving cardiac surgery and other lifesaving procedures at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel. To date, 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 mending hearts, regardless of race, religion, gender, nationality, or financial status, Save a Child’s Heart contributes to a more peaceful and productive world; a happier, healthier world, and a better world for all children, and their families.

About 50 percent of the children receiving medical care through SACH each year come from the Palestinian Authority (PA), Jordan, Iraq, and Morocco.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff