Pope goes door to door blessing homes

| Cindy Wooden | May 19, 2017 | 4 Comments

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, May 19. Continuing his Mercy Friday visits, the pope blessed a dozen homes in Ostia. CNS/L’Osservatore Romano

Like parish priests throughout Italy do during the Easter season, Pope Francis spent an afternoon 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.

The Vatican press office said Father Plinio Poncina, pastor of Stella Maris parish, put up signs 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.

“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.

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  • James B

    Publicity Stunt. I’d prefer if the Holy Father just answered the dubia regarding Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia and clarified the document’s ambiguities.

  • ArthurMcGowan

    Let’s see the Pope prove he has the ability to kneel in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Or is some spiritual force preventing him?

  • Mara319

    How nice! Easter blessings all around.

  • Paula Ruddy

    James and Arthur, do you think this Pope is denying some reality you hold dear? That would be hard to take. I don’t see him denying either the indissolubility of sacramental marriage (the dubia) or transubstantiation (the Blessed Sacrament), but he seems able at the same time as holding those beliefs to see Jesus in the struggling people around him. Honestly, I admire that because I find it hard to do. Do you think it is possible to do both at the same time?