· Francis meets 150 visitors in the Vatican Museums ·
A surprise meeting for the 150 homeless invited by the Office for Papal Charities to the Vatican Museums on Thursday afternoon, 26 March.
Close to 5 pm, after reaching the Sistine Chapel, the final stop on their exclusive tour of the Vatican, Pope Francis asked to come and greet them.
You could see the disbelief and excitement on their faces as the Pope, after shaking a few hands, began to speak to his guests. “this is a small token of affection,” he said referring to the visit, “because this is everyone's house, this is your house. The doors are always open to everyone”.
The Pope then thanked his Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski - who was accompanying the group together with the head of the office, Msgr Diego Ravelli - and addressing the homeless he assured them "I love you very much". Then he said "thank you for your witness to patience" and he asked them to pray for him: "I need personal prayer just as you do".
At the end he blessed them: "may the Lord protect and help you on life's journey and allow you to feel the tender love of the father".
Before departing, Pope Francis greeted them one by one, spending more than twenty minutes with them.
After their encounter with the Pope, at the end of the guided visit to the Sistine Chapel, the 150 homeless went to a reception room inside the Museums for dinner.
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