Pope Francis marked on Sunday the World Day of the Poor of the Catholic Church, hosting a lunch in the Vatican’s vast Paul VI Hall for 1,500 poor and homeless people.
“My thoughts go to those who… have promoted solidarity initiatives to give concrete hope to the most disadvantaged,” Pope Francis spoke during the mass in Saint Peter’s Square, and then following the held lunch.
The pope also mentioned medical staff who willingly provided free healthcare to the poor at the Vatican.
Moreover, he criticized the concept called “the frenzy of running, of achieving everything right now, anyone left behind is viewed as a nuisance. And considered disposable.”
The pope also emphasized that the greed of the few worsen the poverty of many people.
“How many elderly, unborn, disabled and poor persons are considered useless. We go our way in haste, without worrying that gaps are increasing, that the greed of a few is adding to the poverty of many others.”
He then joined the 1,500 people for lunch with a menu of lasagna, chicken nuggets with cream of mushrooms and potatoes, fruits, desserts, and coffee.
“Thank you to the pope and thank you to the Vatican, because the Vatican helps so many poor people, and it also helps by providing medicine, this lunch of course, clothes, so many things,” said a Lithuanian who has lived in Italy for 13 years.
“We don’t have good money because we work seven hours, eight hours, some people sometimes 10 hours for just 30 euros, so this is hard,” a Gambian migrant worker added.
Many of the volunteers, including Lorenzo Ferraro who values the openness towards “the most deprived, the weakest,” have helped the poor by serving their meal.
“In a climate of general selfishness, the pope also remembers these people,” Ferraro said.