Story of Catholic Church's Most Priceless Car in Kenya

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    Retired Nyahururu Catholic Bishop, Luigi Paiarro sits inside the 1980 Volkswagen Beatle in Nyahururu Catholic Diocese
    People Daily
  • The Catholic Church in Kenya has ruled out selling its most priceless car, parked in the church's diocese in Nyahururu town, Laikipia County. 

    The Volkswagen Beatle 1980 model, orange in colour, is famous for ferrying around Saint Mother Teresa while she was in Kenya. 

    Retired Nyahururu Catholic Bishop, Luigi Paiarro detailed that he bought the vehicle at a showroom in Nakuru to enable him to traverse the country to preach and undertake other missionary duties.

    Luigi, who came to Kenya in the 1960s, told People Daily that Mother Teresa visited Nyahururu Cathedral where she enjoyed the cathedral's tea and also signed a visitor's book before she was driven to Maralal and later on to Nairobi inside the Volkswagen. 

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    The Pope (left) with Mother Teresa of Kolkota
    File

    “That vehicle carried a saint and if we sell it we don’t know how it will be used. The millions you want to buy the vehicle with cannot match the value the church attaches to that car

    "I can’t imagine the vehicle that carried a saint being used for other purposes. To me it should not be sold," he declared. 

    He added that he drove the car, later on, before he handed it to an Italian sister, Tiziano Ferraresso, who passed away in 2009. 

    Luigi retired in 2011 and left the car parked at the Catholic Diocese as a monument. Mother Teresa who passed away in 1997 was declared a saint in 2016. 

    “I was so happy that Mother Teresa has been made a saint. I lived with her in Kolkata, India for a year, and I am excited that one of the people I knew personally is a Saint because I am sure she continues praying for me and the others,” Sister Jane Maria of the Missionaries of Charity in the Catholic Diocese of Maralal stated in 2016. 

    Specification of the vintage car 

    The 1980 orange model has a 1200cc engine in the rear.

    It also has a 2-spoke steering wheel and integrated headrests for front seats. 

    The car weighs 2100 lbs | 952.544 kg and uses a 5-speed manual transmission - synchronized all forward gears for smooth operation. 

    The front suspensions are MacPherson struts with coil springs while the rear are semi-trailing arms with torsion bars. 

    It has a seating capacity of four and two doors. 

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    Saint Mother Teresa
    File