Vatican City, Apr 23, 2021 / 05:30 am
Pope Francis on Friday celebrated the feast of St. George, his namesake, with 600 of Rome’s poor and needy, as they waited to receive the second dose of the coronavirus vaccination at the Vatican.
Pope Francis’ baptismal name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Jorge is the Spanish version of George, and April 23, St. George’s feast day, is a holiday in the Vatican.
On April 23, the Vatican continued its program of free vaccinations for those in need in Rome, administering the second dose to around 600 of a total 1,400 people to eventually receive the second shot.
Pope Francis walked around the atrium of the Paul VI Audience Hall to greet everyone present, including volunteers and sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, who are helping with the vaccination program.
At the end of his visit, the pope offered everyone a piece of a giant, hollow chocolate egg, an Easter tradition in Italy.
The 30-minute visit had a “festive and affectionate atmosphere,” a Vatican press release said, and a song wishing the pope well on his name day was sung before he left.
Francis encouraged the medical volunteers to “continue their commitment” to helping the poor, and the papal almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, expressed the pope’s gratitude to all those who had assisted with the vaccine project, which also included a donation of vaccines to poor countries.