Even though we're living in secular times, the number of Catholics in the world continues to grow in number by the millions.
According to reports in early 2011, the number of baptized Catholics in the world had grown by 15 million as recorded by official Catholic Church statistics.
No wonder there is so much demand for Catholic collectibles in the worldwide markets - as tangible and liquid assets for which collectors' desire is second to none.
And there are some great opportunities for collectors of Papal memorabilia in 2012.
Among them is this rare mosaic. The mosaic once hung in the Vatican itself and boasts watertight provenance. It measures 33.5" x 20.5".
We think that a piece of this detail and background could sell for thousands, if not tens of thousands, when it auctions in the US later this month.
But the great news is you don't need to invest four-to-six figure sums to own an authentic piece of Papal memorabilia.
For example, how about owning an "ultimate piece of Papal memorabilia": a piece of the red carpet once walked up by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI himself?
The Pope stood on this very carpet as he delivered his address at Westminster Cathedral in London on Saturday 18 September, 2010.
It was the first Papal visit to Britain in nearly 30 years, and the first State Visit to Britain by a Pope since the 16th Century when King Henry VIII broke away from Rome and formed the Anglican Church.
Asmallpieceofhistory.com has pieces of this carpet (each measuring a ½ " x ½ ") for sale priced at just £29.97 ($45.88) - click here to find out more.
This carpet was once touched by Pope Benedict's Papal Shoes, and these small pieces for sale are a touching souvenir for collectors the world over.