Pope Francis has ordered for a 19th century Vatican palace to be converted into a shelter for the homeless.
While the Palazzo Migliori, which is close to St Peter’s Square, was initially intended to be converted into a high-class hotel, the Pope has decided to have it turned into a homeless shelter after the palace became vacant in 2019.
Previously, the Palazzo Migliori served as the Calasanziane order’s headquarters, whereas it became vacant after the order moved to a new location following 70 years at the palace.
After the building became vacant, the Pope has made the shocking announcement and blessed the building which was then branded ‘A Palace for the Poor.’
Soon enough, some fifty homeless people have been brought to the palace and divided between 16 dormitories.
“This place feels more like home. I have my own bed, room and bathroom. It’s so different from the dormitories I have tried until now, where sometimes you feel like an animal in a crowded stable,” 53-year-old Mario Brezza, a new resident of the palace, said in an interview with NBC News.
As the man added, he became homeless following a “serious circulatory disease” that left him with an amputated leg.
“Even if they wanted to use it for charity, a lot of people would have rented this place out, make a lot of money and give it to the poor,” 23-year-old Sharon Christner, a volunteer from Pennsylvania, said.
“But what is special about this place is that it’s not about maximizing dollar signs, but giving people a really beautiful place to be, with the idea that beauty heals.”
Previously, in 2016, Pope Francis has touched the sensitive topic of homelessness in one of his speeches as he said:
“It is ominous that we are growing used to this rejection. We should be worried when our consciences are anesthetized and we no longer see the brother or sister suffering at our side, or notice the grave problems in the world, which become a mere refrain familiar from the headlines on the evening news.”
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