Pope Francis: surprise visit to the medical facility for the poor in St. Peter’s Square

(Foto Vatican Media/SIR)

As is now customary on the “Fridays of Mercy”, Pope Francis unexpectedly showed up at 4:00 p.m. at the mobile Medical Facility situated in the left-hand wing of the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square on the occasion of the celebration of the third World Day of the Poor, states a release of the Holy See Press Office. “There was great awe and emotion on the part of the many people crowding the medical facility”, reads the communiqué. In the past days dozens of poor people from the most remote parts of the city have been flocking in for medical examinations related to the diseases that homeless people often suffer from, ranging from clinical analyses to dermatology, from cardiology to gynaecology, from ophthalmology to ultrasound scans, along with podiatry and rheumatology, including infectious diseases and diabetes, registering also alarming situations. Under the guidance of their respective professors, a team of newly qualified physicians or postgraduates, attend to the various patients who are arriving by the hundreds every day through word of mouth. After being welcomed by Red Cross nurses, they go to the Triage run by the National Association of General Practitioners where they are registered and accompanied to the various medical specialists, with the assistance of the Red Cross nurses. “Pope Francis was welcomed with a warm applause from the many homeless and poor in the medical centre”, states the communiqué: “They all gathered around him, wanting to greet and embrace him. The Holy Father approached them all; a smile to each and a word of comfort.” Msgr. Rino Fisichella accompanied the Holy Father and introduced him to the medical specialists. The Medical Facility, promoted by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, was created to celebrate the World Day of the Poor, now in its third year. “The Pope has deeply appreciated this facility that offers a true emergency service, and expressed his gratitude to all the doctors and paramedical staff who are carrying out a full-scale volunteer effort – concludes the Vatican Press Office -. Some of them even took days off work in order to take part in this unique experience in favour of so many disadvantaged people.” After a brief prayer, Pope Francis bid farewell to all those present and concluded his visit.

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