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February 4 2015

We remember Modesta, a homeless woman that died on the street. A story still all too topical

In many cities of Italy and Europe, a memory that is a daily commitment of Sant'Egidio.

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In these winter months, with temperatures falling sharply, the situation of those that have no home and live on the street gets more and more dramatic. The cold and the difficulties of street life kill: it happened in the past, unfortunately, still today it is happening in many cities in Italy and in the world. Youth in difficulty, adults that have lost their jobs, elderly people that can not pay a rent, stories of suffering that show the fragility not only of people, but also of an entire society that defends the poor still too little.

That is why Sant'Egidio is faithful to the memory of those that died due to their street life. To remember these people, who are dead because they were poor, is to bring to light the names, faces, stories relegated in some corners and pavements of our cities. In order to apologize to the poor and to commit ourselves so that it does not happen again.

In the liturgies that, starting from Sunday, 1 February, will be celebrated in Rome and in many Italian cities, these names and these stories will all be remembered, one by one.

The first appointment is
in Santa Maria in Trastevere on 1 February at 10 am
The other appointments >>

The reason for a memory: who was Modesta Valenti
For over thirty years the Community of Sant'Egidio has remembered the victims of street life starting from the death of Modesta Valenti, a homeless woman, 71 years old, that lived near the Termini Station, where she used to shelter for her night sleep. On 31 January 1983, Modesta felt unwell just in the Termini Station and the ambulance crew that arrived to the spot would not take her on board because, due to her living conditions, she was dirty and had lice. Modesta died after hours of agony, waiting for someone to decide to assist her.
Her death has deeply marked the friendship of the Community of Sant'Egidio with the homeless. For this reason, the anniversary of her death, we remember in the liturgy all our "friends on the street", to whom the Community has got close, naming each one that has lost their lives. With them, the Community, through the service of the soup-kitchens, the dinners on the streets, the places of welcoming, has woven over the years relations of proximity and familiarity, in an attempt to improve the difficult conditions of their lives.

The memory of Modesta and of the friends on the street has spread from Rome to many places where the community is close to those that live and die homeless.



Sunday 1 February h.10. Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Sunday 1 February. Parrocchia di Santa Giovanna Antida, Via R. Ferruzzi, 110

Sunday 8 February. Parrocchia di San Leonardo Murialdo, Via Salvatore Pincherle, 144

Sunday 22 February. Parrocchia di San Giovanni Battista de la Salle, Via dell'Orsa Minore, 59

Sunday 8 March h.11. Istituto Romano di San Michele, Piazzale A. Tosti 4

Sunday 22 March. Parrocchia di San Gregorio Barbarigo, Via delle Montagne Rocciose, 14

Saturday 14 February h.11. Chiesa dei SS Filippo e Giacomo, Via Roma

Sunday 15 February h.11. Basilica di SS Severino e Sossio, Largo san Marcellino
Saturday 31 January h.10.45. Chiesa di San Tommaso, via della Pergola 8

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