© Vatican Media

Pope Francis Opens Care Center Near Colonnade of St. Peter’s

Managed by Community of Sant’Egidio.

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Pope Francis on November 15, 2019, visited and inaugurated a new day and night reception center in Palazzo Migliori, a few meters from the Colonnade of St. Peter’s, the Vatican said. The new center is entrusted to the Holiness of His Holiness and is managed by the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Pope Francis was welcomed at the entrance by the almsgiver, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, by Mons Nunzio Galantino, President of APSA, by Prof. Andrea Riccardi and by Prof. Marco Impagliazzo, founder and president of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

After a brief visit to the ground floor, intended for daytime reception, with some modern frescoes, the Holy Father went to the chapel of the Center on the first floor, dedicated to St. George. In contemplating the environments he commented: «beauty heals!»

He then visited the floor dedicated to housing, the third, and the rooms used as refectory, the second, while sitting at the table with some people residing in the center and with the volunteers. Among these, some who lived on the street and who have now found work and a permanent home are committed as volunteers to the structure. During the conversation with them, Pope Francis spoke about the culture of waste, and the need to recover a sense of responsibility towards the poorest.

He listened to the story of the volunteers who for many years have brought dinner to those who live on the streets and of the difficulties experienced to organize their funerals. Finally, he recalled when, as a young man, it was customary to leave a dish ready during meals, particularly on holidays, for those in need, emphasizing the need to «educate young people to compassion».

At the end of the visit, at 5:50 pm, Pope Francis returned to Casa Santa Marta.

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