Homeless help humanitarian effort in Ukraine

A group of homeless men joined “the pope’s team,” on 30 August and helped to unload a truck full of humanitarian supplies for Ukraine.

The following day they received a personal thanks from Pope Francis.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner confirmed that the Pope was aware of the men’s hard work.

“I asked them whether they’ll come again today and so they came all dressed in their work clothes. Instead of work, we surprised them with the Holy Father personally thanking them,” the Cardinal told OSV News.

Many of the men are temporary residents at Palazzo Migliori next to the Bernini Colonnade in Rome,

These homeless men, hailing from countries such as Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Italy, the Dominican Republic, and Congo, have been given temporary shelter and employment opportunities in Rome.

After unloading the truck, the men were invited to lunch that was prepared by the sisters in Santa Sofia.

Krajewski also confirmed they were paid for unloading the truck.

The Cardinal, a Polish native who has been an ardent supporter of Ukraine, plans to deliver more supplies to the war-stricken country in September personally.

He also aims to open a shelter for mothers in Ukraine, run by the Albertine sisters.

Acting on behalf of Pope Francis, this will be Krajewski seventh humanitarian visit to Ukraine;

In 2022 alone the Dicastery for the Service of Charity spent US$2.2 million in 2022 on aid for the country.

When asked about the Pope’s recent comments praising Russia’s historical empire, a subject that could be considered sensitive given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Cardinal Krajewski described the situation as a “minefield.”

“During the war, such speeches are difficult,” he said, underscoring the complexities of offering public remarks while navigating Ukraine’s geopolitical tensions.

The intervention of these homeless men in aid distribution efforts and the Pope’s personal acknowledgement of their contributions highlight the broader commitment of the Vatican to not only international humanitarian aid but also social inclusion and dignity for all.


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