Rome Newsroom, Dec 3, 2020 / 04:10 am
Pope Francis’ charity brought free flu vaccines and coronavirus tests to homeless people living in a town outside Rome on Wednesday.
The Vatican ambulance carried the medical supplies to the small seaside town of Torvaianica, located outside the wider metropolitan area of Rome, about 45 miles south of the city center.
Despite heavy rain, health staff from the papal charity office administered the flu shots and COVID-19 tests to 35 people in the courtyard in front of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate Parish, according to Vatican News.
Those who received the help were mostly immigrants from Argentina, Colombia, and Peru, who do not have access to regular medical services.
Torvaianica is marked by poverty and homelessness, and some of the people who received help Dec. 2 engage in prostitution on the town’s beachfront, Vatican News reported.
The local priest, Fr. Andrea Conocchia, said that this may have been the first time they had “received such concrete and effective attention on the part of the Church.”
Despite the clouds and rain, he said that “it was a sunny day, because it was illuminated and warmed by the presence of friends who arrived in the Vatican ambulance.”
“People are happy for this closeness, for this presence, attention and care,” the priest added. “They were very excited.”