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Pope Francis prays for Edwin, a homeless man found dead due to the cold in Rome

January 24 2021

The words of Pope Francis
Pope Francis

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After the Angelus on Sunday 24th January, Feast of the World of God, the Holy Father recalled Edwin, a homeless 46-year-old Nigerian man found dead due to the cold, a few days ago in Rome, not far from St Peter’s. He said:

Dear brothers and sisters,

this Sunday is dedicated to the Word of God. One of the great gifts of our time is the rediscovery of Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church at all levels. Never as today has the Bible been accessible to everyone: in all languages and now even in audiovisual and digital formats. Saint Jerome, the 16th centenary of whose death I recently recalled, says that those who ignore Scripture ignore Christ; those who ignore Scripture ignore Christ (cf. In Isaiam Prol.). And vice versa is Jesus, the Word made Flesh, dead and risen, who opens our mind to understanding the Scriptures (cf. Lk 24:45). This happens in particular in the Ligurgy, but also when we pray alone or as a group, especially with the Gospel and with  the Psalms. I thank and encourage the parishes for their steadfast commitment to educate to listening and to the Word of God. May we never lack the joy to sow the Gospel. And I repeat once again: may we have the habit, may you have the habit of always carrying a small Gospel in in your pocket, in your bag, to be able to read it during the day, at least three, four verses. The Gospel always with us.

This past 20 January, a few metres from Saint Peter's Square, a homeless 46-year-old Nigerian man named Edwin was found dead due to the cold. His incident is added to that of so many other homeless people who have recent died in Rome in the same tragic circumstances. Let us pray for Edwin. Let us be admonished by what was said by Saint Gregory the Great, who before the death of a mendicant due to the cold, stated that that day Mass would not be celebrated because it was like Good Friday. Let us think of Edwin. Let us think of what this man, 46 years old, felt, in the cold, ignored by everyone, abandoned, even by us. Let us pray for  him.

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