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Datum objave: 03.02.2020

Il Papa visita il Presidio Sanitario e inaugura il Centro di accoglienza di Palazzo Migliori

Vatican palace turned into home for poor and homeless at Pope's behest

Il Papa visita il Presidio Sanitario e inaugura il Centro di accoglienza di Palazzo Migliori

Il Venerdì della Misericordia porta il Papa in Piazza San Pietro a visitare a sorpresa il Presidio Sanitario e poi ad incontrare i poveri e i senzatetto che da oggi verranno ospitati a Palazzo Migliori, nel nuovo Centro di accoglienza notturno e diurno. Gioia e commozione per questo ennesimo grande gesto di carità

Pope Francis inaugurates the new Night and Day Care Center for homeless people near St. Peter’s Square, as part of his Friday of Mercy initiative.

By Devin Watkins

A Palace for the Poor: That’s what Pope Francis blessed on Friday afternoon, just ahead of the World Day of the Poor.

The 4-storey Vatican property sits in a prestigious location right off the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square. It still carries the name of the Roman family that built it in the 1800s: Palazzo Migliori – “Palace of the Best”.

Acquired by the Vatican in the 1930s, the building was recently vacated by a congregation of religious sisters.

Pope Francis personally directed his Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, to turn it into a place where the homeless and poor of Rome can sleep, eat, and learn.

The charitable operation is staffed and run by the Sant’Egidio Community.

Space for all

In a communique, Cardinal Krajewski described how the palace is to be used.

The upper two floors are dormitories where around 50 men and women can sleep, though it is able host more when Roman temperatures plummet and the need is greater.

Those guests are offered breakfast and supper in the refectory on the 2nd floor.

Volunteers will also be able to use the kitchen to prepare hot meals to be distributed in the evenings to the homeless who find shelter at one of Rome’s train stations.

During the day, the bottom two floors provide space for volunteers to teach those in need to use the computer. There is also space for reading, recreation, and psychological counseling.

The construction company that renovated the “Palace of the Best” employed a group of homeless people – at the Vatican’s urging.

The company was so impressed by their work ethic that it hired them!

Vatican palace turned into home for poor and homeless at Pope's behest

ROME, Italy — Sitting off St, Peter's Square next to the Vatican, the beautiful 19th century palace would have commanded top dollars if it were a hotel, but Pope Francis had other ideas, so it has been converted into a homeless shelter.The Palazzo Migliori, named after the family who donated it to the Roman Catholic Church, had served as the headquarters for an order of religious women, who vacated it last year.But the Calasanziane order that occupied the building for 70 years and used it to help and care for young single mothers has since relocated to another location. **WERE THEY JUST YOUNG?**One option considered was turning the building into a hotel as it's located just off St. Peter's Square, where pontiffs deliver sermons to thousands of worshippers. The location is also very popular with tourists, who pay hundreds of dollars to stay close to it.But Francis had a very different idea of the kind of guests he wanted for this prime location — the poor and the homeless.After the building was renovated in November, it opened its doors to the homeless."Beauty heals," Francis said when he inaugurated the building at the time."This place feels more like home. I have my own bed, room and bathroom," Mario Brezza, 53, told NBC News. "It's so different from the dormitories I have tried until now, where sometimes you feel like an animal in a crowded stable."

Brezza, who had his leg amputated because of a "serious circulatory disease" lives on a $300 monthly disability allowance. He is among 50 or so homeless men and women who now sleep in the palace's 16 bedrooms.Volunteers also provide them with hot meals.Among them is Sharon Christner, 23 who traveled from Pennsylvania as part of a research project on homelessness and social issues."Even if they wanted to use it for charity, a lot of people would have rented this place out, make a lot of money and give it to the poor," Christner said. "But what is special about this place is that it's not about maximizing dollar signs, but giving people a really beautiful place to be, with the idea that beauty heals."Carlo Santoro, a member of the Sant'Egidio Community, a lay catholic association in charge of many charitable projects linked to the Vatican, including Palazzo Migliori, said the place was a "real paradox.""It is a beautiful palace next to St. Peter's Square and Basilica, and yet it's home to those who until recently did not have a house to go to," he added.

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