Pope prays for Nigerian homeless man found dead near St. Peter’s as Vatican begins vaccination program

CREDIT: Vatican Media Twitter

Pope Francis prayed for a Nigerian homeless man found dead near St. Peter’s as the Vatican begins vaccinating homeless people in its care in Rome.

“ON January 20, just a few meters from St. Peter’s Square, a Nigerian homeless man named Edwin was found dead from the cold,” said the Pope. “His plight is similar to that of many other homeless people who have died recently in Rome under the same dramatic circumstances.”

The Pope then invited everyone to pray for Edwin, and paused for a few seconds in prayer.

He said 46-year-old Edwin was ignored by all.

“He was abandoned, by us as well,” said Pope Francis. “Let us pray for him.”

According to the news website RomaToday, Edwin was the fourth homeless person to die this year in Rome, where there are an estimated 8,000 homeless people.

Many sleep along the edge of Bernini’s colonnade, the semi-circular columns enclosing St. Peter’s Square.

On the same day that Edwin’s body was discovered, the Vatican began vaccinating homeless people in its care against Covid-19.

A group of around 25 homeless people initially received the first dose of the vaccine on January 20 in the atrium of the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican.

Those vaccinated are permanently housed in the care and residence facilities of the Office of Papal Charities, the Vatican department offering charitable assistance to the poor on behalf of the pope.


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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
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