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Pope has surprise visit with blind children and elderly

2017-03-31

A great round of applause. This was the affectionate welcome given to the pope by the patients of the Sant'Alessio center in Rome.

One-by-one, Pope Francis tenderly and affectionaly greeted the 50 children who use these facilities. 

"How are you?"
"Good, good."

Most of these children are blind or have some kind of sensory or intellectual disability. Pope Francis stopped and greeted the parents and little ones, who showed him all their affection.

After the children, he spent time with the older residents. The pope passed through the residence where 37 elderly people live.

"We love him very much. We love him very much."

Many of them were so excited to meet the pope, like Maria Rosa, who is 96 years old. Everyone was thankful for his visit.

"Thank you. Thanks for the visit. Thank you. I always pray for you."
"Thank you. I appreciate it a lot."

Pope Francis then spoke to the children, the elders, and their families.

"It is a pleasure for me to greet you and pay you a visit. I want to be close to you, I am close to you. I pray for you and you pray for me."

The pope received a mosaic made by the patients in the workshop activities organized by the center as a gift. 

Pope Francis also presented them with something very special.

"I leave you as I memory, a writing in Braille and also in normal handwriting. And also an icon of the Virgin, the Mother of us all, so that she protects you."

Although the Jubilee of Mercy ended months ago, and also the so-called "Fridays of Mercy," Pope Francis seems to want to continue with this custom that makes those who receive his unexpected visit so very happy.


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