Ferrari and the Pope
Holiness the Pope Benedict XVI has held a private audience
with Ferrari's President Luca di Montezemolo, Vice President
Piero Ferrari and a selected delegation of the company's
representatives. At the meeting, President Montezemolo
presented the Holy Father a cheque for Euro 950,000 raised by
the sale of the 400th and final Ferrari Enzo, a car specially
built to be auctioned for charity.
In a previous papal audience, which took place on January 17th, a large group of Ferrari's employees and partners - including F1 drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello - met the late Pope John Paul II. Luca di Montezemolo offered to donate the auction proceedings of this extraordinary vehicle for humanitarian purposes. Sold by Sotheby's, the final Enzo reached the significant sum of 950,000 euros, more than 50 per cent above than its list price.
|His Holiness particularly enjoyed a special gift that was presented to him by Luca di Montezemolo: Michael Schumacher's Ferrari F2004 steering wheel, with the following dedication: "The Formula 1 World Champion's steering wheel to His Holiness Benedict XVI, Christianity's driver".|
|Maurizio Macalesi at an audience with Pope Benedetto XVI|
(John Paul II)
Ferrari Team Visits John Paul II (2005)
|John Paul II highlighted the educational and solidaristic
character of sports when he met with the directors, drivers and mechanics of
the Ferrari Formula One World Champion team.
Two star drivers were present at today's audience: German Michael
Schumacher, a seven-time world champion, and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello.
|The Pope sent greetings to all the workers of the Ferrari
plant in Maranello, in northern Italy, who followed the audience live on
television. John Paul II visited Ferrari in 1988, and went for a drive in
one of its cars.
"Your presence offers me the opportunity to emphasize the importance of sports also in present-day society," he said. "The Church considers sports activity, in which the rules are totally respected, a valid educational instrument, especially for young generations."
|"Continue cultivating this style of work, and make constant
growth in solidarity one of your main objectives," the Holy Father exhorted.
"Thus you will spread the values of sport and will contribute at the same
time to the building of a more just and solidaristic society."
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, president of Ferrari, explained to the Holy Father that with this gesture, the drivers, mechanics and directors wished to thank him for his defense of human rights during his pontificate, putting himself in the "pole position on the highway of humanity."
At the end of the audience, Schumacher said: "It is an enormous emotion, it is difficult to explain what one feels. It has been something truly special to receive the Pope's greeting. In particular, it has been something very beautiful to see his strength."
Back in 1988, John Paul II visited the Maranello factory as well as Enzo Ferrari's former home, where he inspected an array of cars including the Scuderia's then current Formula 1 car, the F1/88, and several historic racers, before making a short tour waving to the guests from a convertible Ferrari sportscar, which can be classed as a highly unusual 'Popemobile'.
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