The Hospital of the Innocents was built by Filippo Brunelleschi in the fifteenth century and is located in the historic city of Florence. It was the first institution of its kind in Europe designed to care for and raise orphaned or abandoned children.
Today, it is an institute that promotes the rights of children and adolescents through a number of services and activities. In addition to residential and educational activities, the Institute also carries out the most recent research and monitoring activities on the condition of children.
In the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis met with members of the Institute of the hospital and in prepared remarks to those gathered, he stressed that the best of care should be given to the poor, the vulnerable and those living on the peripheries of society.
Among the most vulnerable people the Pope added, “we must take care of the many rejected children, robbed of their childhood and their future; minors who face desperate journeys to escape from hunger or war.”
He emphasized the plight of mothers whose children do not see the light of day because they “are subject to economic, social and cultural conditioning that pushes them to renounce that wonderful gift that is the birth of a child.”
“How much we need a culture that recognizes the value of life”, the Pontiff said, “a culture that recognizes in every face, even the smallest, the face of Jesus.”
The Pope underlined the importance making sure that “no mother finds herself in the position of having to abandon her child.”
We must also ensure, he continued, “that in the face of any event, even tragic, that may separate a child from his parents, there are facilities and paths of care in which the child is always protected and cared for…”