Yesterday was the Feast of Saint George and also the “name day” of Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an official holiday in the Vatican City State.
In celebration of his name day, Pope Francis donated ventilators and medical supplies to hospitals particularly effected by the coronavirus pandemic, including masks, protective glasses, and coveralls. Papal Almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski called the donation a “hug from the pope during a difficult situation for the whole world.”
“[It is] a beautiful sign that falls on this particular day when the Holy Father does not receive a gift but gives it to others.”
Five ventilators were sent to the city of Suceava in Romania which has over 25% of the countries coronavirus cases, transported on a flight with a team of eleven Romanian doctors and six healthcare workers. Two ventilators were given to a hospital in the southern Italian town of Lecce, and three others were given to hospitals in Madrid.
A month ago, Pope Francis entrusted the Office of Papal Charities with 30 ventilators to be distributed to hospitals. Just before Easter, two were delivered to the Cotugno hospital in Naples along with other medical equipment and Easter eggs.