Pope Francis traded the white skullcap–or “zucchetto”–he was wearing for an identical one offered by one of the hosts of a variety-show who was present for his General Audience on Wednesday, Sept. 17.
The Italian program “Le Iene” (The Hyenas) subsequently placed the skullcap for auction on eBay and the bids that followed culminated in an offer of over $113,000.
The young man, whose name is Damiano, got up at the crack of dawn to get a front row seat for the Pope’s audience in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. As the Pope boarded his jeep, Damiano approached him to propose a swap. Television footage shows the Pope carefully comparing it to his own cap and making the trade.
The television show has promised to donate the entire amount to charity–an Italian ONG called Soleterre active with families and refugees in the town of Zonga, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.