Italian priest gives Pope Francis a 20-year-old Renault

Pope Francis is presented with a Renault 4 car during a private audience with Don Renzo Zocca at the Vatican in this picture taken on 7 September 2013 The 20-year-old car has 300,000 km (190,000 miles) on its clock

An Italian priest has given Pope Francis a 20-year-old white Renault 4 to drive himself around Vatican city.

The car - which has 300,000 km (190,000 miles) on the clock - was presented to the Pope by Father Renzo Zocca at the weekend. The pontiff later drove it.

Known for his humble lifestyle, Francis said he used to drive the same car in his native Argentina.

In a bid to encourage austerity in the Church, the Pope has urged officials to avoid using expensive limousines.

Father Zocca said he was moved by the Pope's effort to create "a Church for the poor", and told the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana that he wanted to give him a gift.

"What better than my old Renault 4?" he asked.

Father Zocca said he was surprised to receive a phone call from the pontiff accepting the gift.

The priest turned up at his Vatican residence on Saturday to present the car.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says the Pope's bodyguards were amazed when he took the keys and drove off.

More on This Story

Pope Francis

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • Man with typewriterLove to Patrick

    The official whose over-familiar letters infuriated his boss


  • Man's hands putting ring on woman's fingerName changer

    Why do wives take a man's name after marriage?


  • Person scratching their arm10 things

    Scratching really does make things itch, and other nuggets


  • Corsican flagCorsican mafia

    Are Corsica's days of mafia and militants over?


  • Mobil canopies on the A6 at Red Hill, LeicestershireEnglish heritage

    Zebra crossings to bus stations: unusual listed buildings


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.