Pope Francis is raffling off his espresso machine and various gifts he has received over the past year in an act of kindness to help the poor.

The Pontiff said he was inspired to gave away his belongings by Saint Francis of Assisi, the saint he named himself after when he was selected to lead the Catholic Church.

Assisi was born the son of a rich cloth merchant but lived in rag clothes among beggars at St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Posters are already appearing around the Vatican advertising the €10 raffle tickets.

The first prize up for grabs is a white Fiat Panda 4x4, the second, third and fourth include bicycles including a tandem as well as a coffee espresso machine, a Homero Ortega Panama hat and an array of belts and shoes the Pope likes to wear. Wallets, briefcases, and document holders will also be available.

The raffle is part of that effort, making sure gifts for which Francis has no use don't just gather dust in storage but are used to help the needy, reported The Associated Press.

Tickets are on sale at the Vatican post office, pharmacy and other venues open to the public.

Winners will be announced on 8 January.

Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker