Vatican City, 16 January 2016 (VIS) – Yesterday Pope Francis began his "Fridays of mercy" yesterday with a visit to a rest home for the elderly on the outskirts of Rome. He announced this initiative at the beginning of the Jubilee, explaining that one Friday each month he would perform a special gesture of mercy.
The Holy Father, accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, responsible for the organisation of the Jubilee of Mercy, arrived at 4 p.m. at the Bruno Buozzi rest home, which accommodates 33 elderly people. He spoke with all the residents, who were happy and surprised at the visit, which had not been announced in advance.
Before returning to the Vatican, the Pope also visited the Casa Iride, which accommodates six patients in a vegetative state. The centre is not organised as a hospital, but rather as a family house where the residents can be continually assisted by members of their families.
According to a note from the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis especially wished to counter the "throwaway culture" on this occasion by highlighting "the great importance and value of the elderly and grandparents, as well as the value and dignity of life in every situation".