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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis meets with over 100 members of organization dedicated to helping the homeless

Over 100 members of the Lazare Association sang as the Pope made his way into the Paul VI hall for their private audience.

The French organization is celebrating 10 years of providing housing and job search assistance to homeless people to help them get back on their feet. The Lazare Association brings together young professionals and homeless people, who share apartments and live in community.

“Together we live in apartments shared by people who have lived in the streets or gone through hard times.”

Pope Francis set aside his prepared speech and gave an improvised response to the experiences shared by some of those present. He used a closed and open door as an analogy to explain a person's relationship with God.

"What relationship do I have with the door? The door is God. So what relationship do I have with the door? Do I keep the door to myself and not let anyone else enter? Or am I afraid of knocking on the door? Or do I wait without knocking for someone to open it? Each one of us has different attitudes toward God, who is the door."

The Pope then thanked the men and women of Lazare for opening the door to others as others once did for them. He then made his way through the crowd to personally greet everyone present.

The Lazare Association today is active in France, Belgium, Spain and Mexico.