Vatican City, 1 February 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday, in the Roman basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, Almoner of His Holiness, celebrated mass in memory of Modesta Valenti, an elderly woman without a fixed abode, who died in 1983 when, after taking ill in Rome's Termini Station, she was refused transit by ambulance because she was “dirty”.
Every year, on this date, the Sant'Egidio Community, along with volunteers and associations who assist the homeless, celebrate Mass in the name of all the poor and homeless who have lost their lives due to inadequate living conditions and as a result of their abandonment. The memory of their names represents a form of consolation for each one and the promise that they will never be forgotten.
The liturgical celebration was attended by the poor and their friends; there were five hundred guests at the lunch held after the celebration. This memorial has been extended to many parishes in Rome and other cities in Italy and throughout the world, wherever the Sant'Egidio Community is close to those who live on the streets.