Pope to celebrate Mass, welcome homeless on pilgrimage to Rome

By NoneGaby Maniscalco

CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will welcome several thousand homeless and
vulnerable people from all over Europe when they make a pilgrimage to
Rome in November.

organizations that help the homeless are invited to participate in the European
Festival of Joy and Mercy, which will take place Nov. 11-13. The event
organizers — the Fratello association — are inviting 6,000 homeless,
vulnerable and marginalized people to take part.

pilgrimage includes an audience led by Pope Francis, a papal Mass, the Stations of the Cross and a tour of Rome. There will be a gathering to hear
people’s personal testimonies and a prayer “Vigil of Mercy” with
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France.

time of pilgrimage and opportunity to meet Pope Francis will give people from
the most vulnerable sections of society, who are often treated as outcasts, a
chance to discover that their place is in the heart of God and in the heart of
the church,” the Fratello association said in a press release May 2. Those who
assist the vulnerable on a day-to-day basis are also invited to attend.

event follows Pope Francis’ continued efforts to increase outreach to the
homeless, especially those who live near the Vatican. Sleeping bags were handed
out at Christmas, showers were installed in the public bathrooms in St. Peter’s
Square and a special, private tour of the Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums
was arranged. In 2015, the pope also opened a shelter for homeless men.

more information on the pilgrimage visit Fratello’s website at


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