VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a mobile health care facility set up in St. Peter’s Square to serve the city’s homeless and poor.
Entering the square from under Bernini’s colonnade Nov. 16, the pope walked to the makeshift medical center accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.
Tourists and pilgrims in the square were caught off-guard by the pope’s arrival, immediately snapping pictures and reaching out to shake the pope’s hand.
Arriving at the mobile clinic, the pope was welcomed with applause and cheers from the doctors, medical staff and patients. The pope remained 15 minutes and was given a tour of the medical center before walking back to his residence inside the Vatican.
The medical facility, which was to be open Nov. 12-18, was part of an initiative organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization in conjunction with Pope Francis’ celebration Nov. 18 of the World Day of the Poor.
A similar clinic was set up last year, but this year it offered extended morning and evening hours. Anyone in need could find general and specialist care, including cardiology, dermatology, gynecology and ophthalmology.
Doctors volunteering from Rome hospitals or other health clinics and nurses from the Italian Red Cross took shifts running laboratory tests and seeing patients from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: