First Mercedes-Benz Vito Produced in Argentina Gets Papal Blessing. No, Really

Pope Francis blessing the first Mercedes-Benz Vito produced in Argentina 3 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
First Mercedes-Benz Vito built in Argentina gets Papal blressingFirst Mercedes-Benz Vito built in Argentina gets Papal blressing
It’s not that abnormal (or is it?) for cars to get a blessing from church officials, but it usually happens in a much lower-key environment than this.
We all want our cars to live long and prosper with us alongside them, so it’s not uncommon for the more religious of us to ask a priest or a minister to bless our cars. You probably know somebody who did it yourself.

When your name is the Daimler Group, you obviously work on a whole different level. A very high level, apparently, as the Stuttgart-based brand asked none other than Pope Francis to bless one of their cars.

It was more of a symbolic gesture, and since we’re talking about the first Mercedes-Benz Vito to come out of the company’s plant in Argentina, the Pope’s home country, it’s still unclear who initiated this event.

It all happened during a ceremony held on October 13 in Vatican - all the way across the globe from where the car was built - where the head of the Roman Catholic Church gave his blessing to the first Mercedes-Benz van produced in Argentina.

The Pope also imprinted his signature onto the white Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourer to mark the occasion even further. The special car is a seven-seater version with front-wheel drive and a petrol engine.

A car with such symbolic importance is destined to have a special fate, so it was immediately donated to the Scholas Occurrentes aid organization supported by Pope Francis himself. The van will later be auctioned, with the proceeds going to fund the organization’s projects in the fields of sports, art, and technology.

Even though the blessing came only two days ago, actual production of the Mercedes-Benz Vito at the Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, began at the end of June 2015. With investments of up to $220 million and almost 1,600 employees, this model highlights Mercedes-Benz’s ambitions for its vans to go global.

As for the Papal intervention, the ties between Mercedes-Benz and the head of the Roman Catholic Church are no secret, even though in later years the Pope has been traveling in all sorts of cars, including a Fiat 500L.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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