In 1981, the Order establishes the Vicarius Christi Fund, with annual earnings used for the pope’s personal charities. The initial fund of $10 million is increased to $20 million in 1988. The Knights then underwrote a series of major restorations at the St. Peter’s Basilica in anticipation of the Jubilee Year of 1983. The Order agrees to underwrite the restoration of the 65,000-square-foot facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, the first time it has been cleaned in more than 350 years. Several subsequent projects have taken place at St. Peter’s, including the restoration of chapels and of the Holy Year Door.
In this picture, the fascade of St. Peter’s Basilica after the restoration.
More recently, on 12/12/2014, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson presented the Holy Father with a contribution of $1.6 million from the Vicarius Christi Fund. In addition, the supreme knight spoke about the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund and provided the pope with a contribution of $400,000 from that fund to supplement the relief efforts of the Holy See in the Middle East.