“Pope Francis will open a homeless shelter on the edge of Vatican City, the latest move by the pontiff to help poor people in Rome. The shelter is under construction on Via Penitenzieri, just a few steps away from the Vatican walls, a Holy See spokeswoman said. Once completed, the centre will be run by volunteers, who will host 30 people at a time.”
We have all seen various images and heard of many of Pope Francis’ inspiring decisions and actions. The Holy Father truly leads by example. The homeless shelter that is being set-up is not the Pope’s first initiative to help the poor. In February, showers, haircuts and shaves were offered to the homeless by professional volunteers. In March, about 150 homeless people were invited for a private viewing of the Sistine Chapel and Vatican museums, and not long ago, two busloads of people traveled to see the Shroud of Turin, thanks to a donation by The Holy Father.
He has, and is, showing us how to create a “poor church,” something that he has consistently called on us to do. But perhaps one of the most powerful verbal statements from Pope Francis is that the poor, poor families, the dignity of these, “are a true school of humanity, who are saving society from barbarity.”
Let us meditate and understand these powerful words. “[S]aving society from barbarity.” The poor remind us of our selfishness. They expose our greed, our individualism, our consumerism. They also evoke our humanity, our compassion, our desire to transform the world!
They save us from…ourselves…
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