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February 2 2014 | ROME, ITALY

"I bring you Pope Francis’ hug" Mons. Krajewsky to the poor of Rome

gathered today at Santa Maria in Trastevere for the liturgy in memory of Modesta and all those who have lost their lives due to the harshness of life on the street

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"This morning, before leaving home to come here with you, I greeted Pope Francis telling him that I would come to celebrate this mass. He listened to me and then said: I will not be able to be there, but tell everyone that I send them a strong, strong, strong hug!"

Pope's chaplain Mons. Konrad Krajewsky began the liturgy with these words "in remembrance of Modesta and the poor that died on the streets", which was held this morning at Santa Maria in Trastevere attended by hundreds of poor people, especially homeless people, along with their friends of the Community of Sant'Egidio that accompany them in the daily difficulties. The liturgy remembers all those who have lost their lives because of the extreme poverty of the streets.

A memory begun 30 years ago after the death of a homeless elderly woman, Modesta Valenti, who died on the street and was not rescued because she was dirty. A long list of names of those who were remembered. For each name, those who want light a candle. It is a moment of great emotion in which all participate: for those who live without anything, to remember the names of their friends is also the certainty that he will not be forgotten.

At the end of the liturgy, the celebrants offer a flower and a picture of Mary to everyone. A great lunch is prepared in the premises of Santa Maria in Trastevere parish church for all those that took part in the liturgy. It is a greatly appreciated invitation on these difficult days because of bad weather.


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