Some 30 guests of a shelter for the homeless that opened last week near St. Peter’s Square, got a surprise visit from Pope Francis, the Vatican said on Friday.
Francis stopped by late Thursday on the way back from the Synod of Bishops, the Oct. 4 to Oct. 25 summit discussing Catholic positions on controversial subjects such as divorce and homosexuality.
“The pope chatted amiably for about 20 minutes with the guests, who were visibly moved and happy for his visit,” a statement said.
The all-male shelter was opened on Oct. 7 and is run by Francis’ personal charity department, which over the past months has also opened a barber shop and showers for the homeless who live near St. Peter’s.
Francis, a well-known champion of the destitute, has made several outreach gestures toward the homeless, offering them private tours of the Sistine Chapel, inviting them to concerts and dining with them on his birthday. (dpa/NAN)