| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Pope hosts lunch for Rome’s poor and homeless

On Sunday, the day the Roman Catholic Church recognizes as the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis sponsored a meal for 1,300 homeless and underprivileged persons.

They were served by volunteer waiters and waitresses in the great audience hall of the Vatican while Francis, who has been using a wheelchair and cane due to a knee condition, sat with them.

Charity organizations that support them on a daily basis invited the pope’s visitors to the Vatican.

Earlier, in the homily of a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, where many of them sat in the front rows, Francis called on people who are more fortunate “to break through that inner deafness which prevents us from hearing the stifled cry of pain of the frailest” in society.

“If our heart is deadened and indifferent, we cannot hear their faint cry of pain, we cannot cry with them and for them, we cannot see how much loneliness and anguish also lie hidden in the forgotten corners of our cities.” he said.

The pope established the day in 2016 to bring more attention to poverty, particularly in wealthy nations. Catholic parishes and groups around the world hold events to help the poor in local communities.

  • Reuters