Pope Francis visits Vatican soup kitchen

2013-05-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis visited the "Gift of Mary" soup kitchen and women’s shelter run by the Missionaries of Charity on Tuesday evening, to mark the 25th anniversary of the facility's opening in the Vatican. In remarks to staff and guests, the Holy Father praised the work of the sisters, noting the many mouths they have fed, and the wounds both spiritual and bodily, that they have helped to heal. “In these years,” said Pope Francis, “like the good Samaritan, you have so many times bent low to [serve] those in need." Listen:

The facility is inside the walls of Vatican city, situated in the vicinity of the building that houses the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The house feeds roughly 60 people every day, and offers accommodation to 25 women.

Pope Francis said the shelter should be “a strong reminder” to the Christian community, to the whole city and citizenry of Rome, “to be ever more a family, a ‘home’ that is ready to welcome, to attend, to foster brotherhood.”

The importance of freely giving of self and substance was another theme of the Holy Father’s remarks to staff and guests. “We all,” he said, “must recover the sense of gift, of free and generous giving [it. gratuità], of solidarity.