Pope to feed hundreds of poor at special lunch

2017-11-19 06:26
(Alberto Pizzoli, AFP)

(Alberto Pizzoli, AFP)

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Vatican City - Pope Francis will be offering several hundred poor people - homeless, migrants, unemployed - lunch of gnocchi, veal and tiramisu when he celebrates his first World Day of the Poor in the spirit of his namesake, St Francis of Assisi.

Francis begins the events on Sunday with a Mass for an estimated 4 000 people in St Peter's Basilica. Afterward, about 1 200 will join him for lunch in the Vatican's audience hall, where they'll be serenaded by the Vatican gendarmes' band and a children's choir. The rest will have lunch at nearby pontifical colleges.

Francis has championed the plight of the poor, saying in one of his first public encounters after his 2013 election that he wanted a "church that is poor and for the poor".

He has built showers, a barber shop and laundry for the homeless who live around the Vatican and on his birthday has invited a few to join him for cake.

The Argentine Jesuit on Thursday made a surprise outing outside the Vatican walls to visit the makeshift health clinic set up for the week leading up to Sunday's Mass that is offering free visits with cardiologists, dermatologists and gynaecologists. The Vatican called it a "field hospital" - the term Francis himself has used to describe the church he wants: one that welcomes the poor and wounded and gives them merciful aid.

Read more on:    pope francis  |  vatican city

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