“Jesus, the Divine Worker Fund” for workers in difficulty

In the first half of June, Pope Francis launched the “Jesus, the Divine Worker Fund”, aimed at helping people experiencing the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic; in particular, those who risk being excluded from institutional protection and who need support until they can walk again unaccompanied. 1 million euros has been allocated to the diocesan Caritas of Rome for this purpose.

The thoughts of the Holy Father goes “to the great number of daily and occasional workers, to those with fixed-term contracts that have not been renewed, to those who are paid by the hour, to interns, domestic workers, small entrepreneurs, self-employed workers, especially those in sectors most affected [by the pandemic] and their related industries.” “Many are fathers and mothers who struggle to set the table for their children and guarantee them the minimum necessary”.

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An ambulance for the homeless of Rome

On 31 May, the morning of Pentecost Sunday, before the Eucharistic celebration, Pope Francis blessed an ambulance for the poor of Rome. It is a new gift from the Holy Father, entrusted to the Office of Papal Charities, in favor of the poorest, in particular the homeless who face the difficulties on the street.

The sad story of Modesta Valenti, an elderly homeless woman who died on 31 January 1983, because the ambulance called to assist her after she felt ill declined to assist her because of her poor hygiene, remains in everyone’s memory.

The ambulance will support other initiatives overseen by the Papal Almoner. These include a mobile clinic used to provide care to the poor in Rome’s poorer neighborhoods, as well as the Mother of Mercy Clinic, set up in the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, which offers first-aid care to homeless people and to those without health care, and which continued to provide service even during the long lockdown period of the COVID-19 emergency.

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Gift to the Cotugno Hospital in Naples

On 11 April, the “Easter gift” of Pope Francis arrived at the Cotugno hospital in Naples, taken by the Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe: two ventilators, along with medical devices for doctors and nurses (masks and overalls) and also Easter eggs.

This gesture testifies to the profound closeness of the Holy Father to all healthcare workers for the extraordinary and tireless work they have done in assisting and caring for the many people affected by the pandemic.

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Gift to the Regina Apostolorum Hospital in Albano Laziale

As another Easter gift from Pope Francis, a ventilator for patients in the intensive care unit has been donated to the Regina Apostolorum Hospital, run by the Daughters of Saint Paul in Albano Laziale, which has been converted into a Covid-19 Patient Center.

Previously, Pope Francis had sent abundant material for the assistance and care of the infected people (masks, protective goggles and protective coveralls), as a sign of his closeness to the sick and healthcare personnel.

The donations came through the Office of Papal Charities, one of the entities that exercises charity on behalf of the Pope.

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Gift to the Vito Fazzi Hospital in Lecce

On 23 April, the feast of St. George the Martyr, Pope Francis offered a gift to mark the occasion of his name day: the delivery of ventilators and medical equipment to hospitals in Spain, Romania and Italy, countries particularly affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

Thus, on behalf of the Pope, the Papal Almoner Cardinal Krajewski himself delivered two respirators to the Vito Fazzi Hospital in Lecce, along with a supply of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses.

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Gift to the Locri Hospital (Reggio Calabria)

Two respirators, 4 thousand masks, 400 coveralls, 400 glasses, a protective suit for doctors who treat Covid-19 patients.

These were the gifts of the Holy Father Francis to the Locri Hospital (Reggio Calabria), delivered by the Papal Almoner Card. Konrad Krajewski to the Bishop of Locri-Gerace, don Franco Oliva.

For more information, please click on the Avvenire website.

Gift of Pope Francis to Bergamo’s Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital

At the beginning of April, Pope Francis donated 60,000 Euros to Bergamo’s Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital.

This was another sign of his closeness to one of the communities most affected by Covid-19 in Italy and to the doctors, nurses and health personnel who were fighting on the front line against this disease.

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Pope's gift to Italian Caritas for the poor

Shortly after the start of the quarantine in Italy due to the spread of COVID-19, Pope Francis donated 100 thousand Euros to Italian Caritas. He made the donation through the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, to support the essential services dedicated to the most vulnerable members of the society. Diocesan and parish Caritas centres in Italy run soup kitchens, homeless shelters, dormitories and more.

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Interventions of the Office of Papal Charities in Rome and Lazio

The Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski has made many interventions in the name of the Pope, both in Rome and outside the city.

The Office of Papal Charities, being the “first aid of charity” of Pope Francis, has continued to offer material and spiritual support to the poor even during this coronavirus emergency, in full compliance with the decrees issued by the Italian government. The shower facilities and toilets dedicated to them under the Colonnade around St. Peter’s Square, as well as the medical facilities, have remained open, because for the poor it is a necessity that must be respected.

Cardinal Krajewski has also changed the way of distribution of meals in order to avoid gatherings, handing out sack dinners every evening, called “heart’s bags”, as they are prepared with love. This was the most direct way not to abandon those already living in difficult conditions and who could risk being even more isolated.

On March 23, the cardinal went to the Generalate of the Daughters of San Camillo at Grottaferrata and to the Congregation of the Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul in via Casilina, two female religious communities that were put in isolation, because many of the religious had been found positive to the coronavirus. Krajewski took some products of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo as a gift, such as fresh milk and yogurt.

A similar donation was also delivered to the John XXIII Retirement Home, managed by the Sisters of Charity Association.

On April 8, the Papal Almoner even arrived at Porano, in the province of Terni, where he supplied to the house of San Bernardino of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary with food and disinfectants, a residence for elderly consecrated sisters and in need of care, wherein 17 nuns out of 39, were tested positive for the swab.

The list of the Cardinal's “blitz” is a little longer. Similarly, on April 4, it was the turn of the “Selam Palace” at Romanina, just outside the Grande Raccordo Anulare of Rome, a seven-storey building, in which about a thousand people (including many children) live in precarious conditions, most of whom come from the Horn of Africa. They were provided with necessities such as pasta, rice, tomatoes and milk, as well as soaps, disinfectants, masks and thermometers in order to help them face the emergency.

On April 17 the same service was repeated in via Marsala, in Rome, with the distribution of sleeping bags, food, soap and masks to the homeless who live near Termini Station.

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These gifts from Pope Francis arrived after the announcement of March 27, 2020 in response to the needs of various hospitals from all around the world.

In fact, on this date, the Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, announced the donation of Pope Francis of 30 respirators, purchased in the previous days, intended for intensive care units of the hospital structures that needed them most.

For more information, click here.