• Pope Francis made a surprise visit to greet 150 homeless people who were given a special tour of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums Thursday by the papal charitable office. It was a brief, affectionate and emotional encounter.

    The Pope crossed the threshold of the Sistine Chapel to the disbelief of his guests, saying this visit and meeting are “a small caress – because this is the home of all; it is your home. The doors are always open for everyone. “

     The Pope thanked Mgr. Konrad Krajewski, head of the Elemosineria, the Apostolic charity office, for arranging the visit and told his guests, “I need the prayers of people like you.”

    He left them with the blessing: “May the Lord keep you, help you on the journey of life – and make you feel His tender, fatherly love.”

    “E’ scoppiata una bombola…”

    Carla, one of the homeless women present, described how a propane gas tank exploded, killing all of her family three years ago.  Since the accident, she has been living on and off the street.  She said she was taken in by religious at a Franciscan convent outside Rome and with their help has been able to overcome much of her pain and suffering.

    The homeless guests were later offered dinner in the Vatican Museums’ cafeteria.

    Source: Vatican Radio