Pope Francis has made a surprise visit to the homeless in the Vatican.
This morning, the Holy See Press Office released a statement noting, “Last night, in the evening after the meeting of the Synod, a little after 7 p.m, the Holy Father went to the new dormitory for the homeless on Via dei Penitenzieri, in the premises provided by the General House of the Society of Jesus.”
Funded by the Office of Papal Charities, the shelter, called “Dono di Misericordia” (Italian for ‘Gift of Mercy’) and just opened this month, is located near Rome’s Santo Spirito Hospital and the church of the same name in Rome. The dormitory is a gift to the Pope from the General House of the Society of Jesus in response to the Pope’s appeal to religious communities and orders to house people in need or in difficulty in their properties.
Yesterday evening, the communique stated, the Pope was welcomed by papal almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski; Msgr. Diego Ravelli, also of the Office of Papal Charities; Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, General of the Jesuits; and Fr. Joachin Barrero, Superior of the Community of the General Curia, along with three sisters of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, and a few volunteers.
The Holy Father, the communique noted, greeted all 30 guests individually, and then asked to be given a tour of the shelter itself.
“The Pope,” it noted, “cordially spent about 20 minutes with the guests, who were visibly moved and happy for his visit.”
The shelter, which can house 34 men, is administered by religious sisters who already assist people in need at Termini Station and San Gregorio Magno al Celio. According to the regulations of the Gift of Mercy Dormitory, before being received as a guest, one must be interviewed by the nuns. Those who stay the night may also dine at the canteen at the Casa Dono di Maria before arriving at the Dormitory, and are offered breakfast prepared at the Dormitory before they leave. Guests may stay for a maximum period of 30 days and they may use the showers available under the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
About the New Homeless Shelter in the Vatican: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/new-homeless-shelter-opens-near-the-vatican