Pope Francis takes blessings door to door

Pope Francis greets a resident as he arrives to give an Easter blessing to a home in a public housing complex in Ostia, a Rome suburb on the Mediterranean Sea, on May 19. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano) Pope Francis greets a resident as he arrives to give an Easter blessing to a home in a public housing complex in Ostia, a Rome suburb on the Mediterranean Sea, on May 19. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

Like parish priests throughout Italy do during the Easter season, Pope Francis spent an afternoon on May 19 going door to door and blessing homes.

Continuing the "Mercy Friday" visits he began during the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis chose a public housing complex in Ostia, a Rome suburb on the Mediterranean Sea.

Advertisement

The Vatican press office said Father Plinio Poncina, pastor of Stella Maris parish, put up signs on May 17 announcing a priest would be visiting the neighborhood to bless houses. The signs, which indicate a date and give a time frame, are a common site in Italy in the weeks before and after Easter.

Copyright L'Osservatore Romano
Copyright L'Osservatore Romano

"It was a great surprise today when, instead of the pastor, the one ringing the door bells was Pope Francis," the press office said. "With great simplicity, he interacted with the families, he blessed a dozen apartments" and left rosaries for the residents.

"Joking, he apologized for disturbing people, however he reassured them that he had respected the hour of silence for a nap after lunch in accordance with the sign posted at the entrance to the building," the press office said.

The pope's Friday visits to hospitals and hospices, homes for children, rehab centers and other places of care were planned for the Year of Mercy as tangible ways for the pope to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Although the Year of Mercy ended in November, the pope restarted making Mercy Friday visits in March when he visited a home and educational center for the blind and visually impaired.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Pope Francis

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis issues public correction to Cardinal Robert Sarah on who has final say over liturgical translations.
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 22, 2017
It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017
Protestors rally to support Temporary Protected Status near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Around 200,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans have been residing in the United States for more than 15 years under Temporary Protected Status. But that status is set to expire in early 2018.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 20, 2017
At the heart of Anne Frank’s life and witness is a hopeful faith in humanity.
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.October 20, 2017