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Pope Tells Sick Children ‘Jesus Is Close to You, Offers Hope’

Pope Francis Makes Surprise Call to Children’s Hospital in Genoa Where He Will Visit Saturday

Pope Francis has made a surprise phone call to sick children in Genoa, ahead of his one-day Apostolic Visit to the northern Italian city this Saturday, May 27, 2017, reported Vatican Radio.

During the course of the day, the Holy Father will have a meeting with sick children and their families at the Giannina Gaslini Pediatric Hospital.

Established in 1931 and now considered one of the foremost children’s hospitals in Europe, the Istituto Giannina Gaslini is a tertiary level pediatric hospital affiliated with the University of Genoa. It is formally recognized as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare.

While many of the sick children, ahead of the Pope’s trip, have been preparing for him messages and small gifts, the Argentine Pontiff decided to do the unexpected: give them a surprise call before his arrival.

“Dear children of the Gaslini Hospital in Genoa, I greet you all with affection” he said through linking-up live via telephone to a parish radio in Genoa that broadcasts a Wednesday weekly program dedicated to the children’s hospital.

It is with joy, he noted, he looks forward to meeting, being close to, listening to them, and bringing them the caress of Jesus.

“He is always close to us especially when we are in difficulty and in need. He always gives us trust and hope.” he said.

The Holy Father concluded the call, saying he continues praying for them and their families and reminding them to pray for him.

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