Pope Francis auctions custom-made Lamborghini to raise money for Iraqi Christians

Pope Francis has auctioned off his custom made Lamborghini, raising nearly $1million for charity at an auction in Monaco on Saturday.

Painted in the Vatican City flag colours of white and gold, the pope signed and blessed the supercar which was gifted to him last November.

Osservatore Romano/Handout via ReutersPope Francis signs a Lamborghini Huracan after it was given to him in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican last November.

Complete with 5.2-litre V10 engine that can power the car to achieve 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, the car can reach a top speed of 198mph. But with the speed limit restricted to 9mph inside the Vatican, the pontiff was unlikely to get much use from it.

The one-off Huracan model was sold for more than four times its original value of £200,000 and most of the proceeds will be used to help Iraqi Christians who were besieged by ISIS on the Nineveh Plain.

Of the eye-watering final sale price of €715,000 (£630,000), £415,000 will go to help rebuild the city of Nineveh and the remainder will be split between three Catholic groups — the Pope John XXIII Community, which helps victims of human trafficking, and two Italian associations that provide aid for women and children in Africa.

Augustin Sabatié-Garat, auction manager at RM Sotheby's Europe, who hosted the auction, said: 'We are honoured to have hosted such a hotly contested bidding war for this unique Lamborghini Huracan.

'We give thanks to His Holiness Pope Francis for donating the sale fee to charity, and for Automobili Lamborghini for gifting the car, as we are pleased to have played a part in sourcing money for good causes.

'The fact that this car sold for nearly three times' worth its estimate, and much higher than the model's standard retail price, is telling of how much interest it attracted.'