An Apple iPad that once belonged to Pope Francis fetched $30,500 (approximately $37,243 CAN) at a charity auction this week, with all the proceeds going towards a Uruguayan school for the poor.
“ May you do something good with it,” the religious leader reportedly said when he handed over the tablet to Uruguayan priest Gonzalo Aemilius. Taking his advice to heart, the priest in turn donated the device to impoverished Francisco de Paysandu high school, which is located approximately 370 kilometres north of Uruguay's capital city, Montevideo.
The back of the iPad is engraved with the message, “His Holiness Francisco. Servizio Internet Vatican, March 2013,” and includes a certificate signed by the Vatican, as well as a black Logitech keyboard.
An unidentified buyer – who was later revealed to be an Argentine entrepreneur – reportedly won the tablet by placing a bid over the phone.
It comes as no surprise that modern Pope Francis was once the proud owner of an Apple product. The head of the Catholic Church is famous for embracing new technology, calling the Internet “a gift from God” and tweeting regularly from his official @Pontifex account.
He also has a history of having his personal belongings sold for charity. Last year, the Pope donated a Harley-Davidson motorcycle – which he had received as a gift – to auction, and it sold in Paris for a whopping 241,500 euros (or $316,439 CAN).
Celebrity auctions, which have fans bidding on iconic or strange celebrity paraphernalia, are by no means a new phenomenon. From a slice of cake from Prince William and Kate’s wedding (sold at auction for $7,500!) to Marilyn Monroe’s plastic-surgery records, deep-pocketed pop-culture buffs are keen to get their hands on a piece of celebrity history.