Pope’s charity provides free coronavirus tests for homeless

free coronavirus tests

Pope Francis’ charity has provided free flu vaccines and coronavirus tests to homeless people living in a town near Rome.

The Vatican ambulance carried the medical supplies to the small seaside town of Torvaianica, located about 45 miles south of Rome city center.

In heavy rain, health staff from the papal charity office administered the flu shots and COVID-19 tests to 35 people.

The tests were conducted in the courtyard of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate Parish, according to Vatican News.

Those who received the help were mostly immigrants from Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. Many of them do not have access to regular medical services.

Torvaianica is marked by poverty and homelessness. Some of those who received help 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 inclement weather, 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.”

“They pray for the Church, and ask for blessings for the pope. The people are really very content and very happy” to receive help, he said.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the papal charity office, led by Krajewski, has been helping the poor and homeless around Rome by handing out meals and protective gear such as face masks.

The office has also donated ventilators to hospitals in Italy, Brazil, and Spain.

In April, Krajewski wrote to cardinals, archbishops, bishops and other members of the Papal Chapel, inviting them to make a financial offering to support those suffering during the pandemic.

The cardinal told CNA that some officials had given the equivalent of a month’s salary, others had donated two months’ worth of their earnings.

He praised the “heartfelt response,” which he said “exceeded all of our thoughts.”

Some of the funds were given to the needy in Romania and ventilators were sent to Zambia, Krajewski said.


Catholic News Agency

National Catholic Register


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News category: World.

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