“Pope Francis’ Laundry” went into operation yesterday, Monday, April 10, 2017. It is a free service for the poor and homeless to wash, dry and iron their clothes and blankets, reported a statement by the Office of Papal Charities.
The initiative came to be following the invitation of the Holy Father to give “concrete” experience of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. He wrote in the Apostolic Letter Misericordia et miseria, at the conclusion of the Jubilee: “The desire for closeness to Christ requires us to draw near to our brothers and sisters, for nothing is more pleasing to the Father than a true sign of mercy. By its very nature, mercy becomes visible and tangible in specific acts.”
The Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski noted: “Here then is a concrete sign wanted by the Office of Papal Charities: a place and a service to give concrete form to charity to restore dignity to so many people who are our brothers and sisters and who are called, with us, to build a city we can trust.”
The laundry is located inside the Community Sant’Egidio’s “People of Peace Center,” at the old hospital complex of San Gallicano, Via San Gallicano 25, in Rome.
The same voluntary office which has made possible lately showers, a barbershop, a wardrobe, medical clinics and the distribution of first aid relief for and to the poor, now will manage the Pope’s ‘Laundry.’
In the rooms used for this service, are six washers and six dryers, donated by the multinational corporation, Whirlpool.
To share and coordinate this project was Procter & Gamble, which two years ago, gave Gilette razors and shaving cream to the “barber for the poor” in St. Peter’s Colonnade. P&G also donated Dash Lenor detergent for the laundry.