Before celebrating Mass on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis took a step outside to bless bless a new Vatican ambulance he was donating to provide emergency medical care for “the poorest, who remain almost invisible to Institutions.”
A statement from the Holy See Press Office said:
“It is a new gift from the Holy Father, entrusted to the Office of Papal Charities, in favor of the poorest, in particular of the homeless who face the difficulties of the streets.”
The ambulance belongs to the Vatican fleet and has SCV (Vatican) license plates, and was entrusted by Pope Francis to the Office of Papal Charities, under the direction of Papal Almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski.
Krajewski said the new ambulance will assist with health initiatives of the Office of Papal Charities, including:
“A mobile clinic used to provide care to the poor in Rome’s poorer neighborhoods, as well as the Mother of Mercy Clinic, set up in the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square which offers first-aid care to homeless people in the area.”
In announcing the new ambulance, the statement from the Holy See Press Office recalled the “sad ordeal of Modesta Valenti, an elderly homeless woman to whom the city of Rome has dedicated a street.”
“On 31 January 1983, after a long, cold night sleeping rough outside Termini train station, she felt ill. Several passers-by called an ambulance, which declined to assist her because of her poor hygiene. After 4 long hours, several hospitals refused to take responsibility for her. Modesta was left on the ground, suffering. She died before an ambulance finally arrived.”