In the spirit of Christmas giving, Pope Francis opened a new medical center in Saint Peter’s Square for pilgrims and the poor who find themselves in need of care.
Starting in 2015, the temporary San Martino center had been providing first aid, showers, and haircuts to the homeless around Rome. The new Ambulatorio Madre di Misericordia, Mother of Mercy Clinic, replaces it and now offers more advanced care for the some 16,000+ homeless near Rome. The clinic was built on the site of the old Vatican Post Office.
The Office of Papal Charities headed by the Pope’s Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski said in a statement the recently completed clinic was a Christmas gift from the Holy Father. Inside are three complete examination rooms furnished with new medical equipment to provide for testing, two bathrooms, a waiting room, and an office for the clinic director.
Three times a week, Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, the clinic will be open to provide medical care. On Mondays, a podiatrist will be available to address any foot ailments that the homeless commonly have. The clinic will serve as a first aid station for pilgrims during Vatican audiences at Saint Peter’s Square or the Basilica.
The clinic will be staffed by volunteer doctor’s, specialists, and healthcare professionals from the Vatican, Rome’s Tor Vergata University, the Italian Association of Solidarity Medicine, and the Italian Podiatrist Association.
“Love for the poor has been the sign, the light that draws people to give glory to the Father.” – Pope Francis