150 Homeless people, invited by the Office of Papal Charities to visit the Vatican Museums, received a once in a lifetime surprise.
While visiting the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis arrived and welcomed them to the Vatican.
“Welcome. This is everyone’s house, and your house. The doors are always open for all,” he said.
According to Fr. Ciro Benedettini, Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office, the Holy Father followed by thanking Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner for organizing the visit, which he described as a “small caress” for those present.
“Pray for me. I’m in need of prayers by people like you,” he told them. Blessing them, the Pope said: “May the Lord protect, may He help you in the path of life and make you feel His tender love of a Father.”
The 78 year old Pontiff went on to greet each one of homeless persons there, according to Fr. Benedettini, for roughly 20 minutes. Following the surprise visit from the Pope, they were escorted to the museum where they were served dinner before leaving.
The Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office stated that Pope Francis asked that no cameras or photographers be present during his brief meeting.