By Linda Bordoni
As it has become customary, 3 years from the establishment of the World Day of the Poor called for by Pope Francis to mark the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Pope joined poor people and volunteers in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall for lunch on Sunday.
After celebrating Mass for the poor in St. Peter’s Basilica, during which he described them as “the treasure of the Church” and told believers “the poor facilitate our access to heaven”, the Pope addressed the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus prayer and noted the statistics regarding poverty and society’s painful indifference.
He then joined some 1,500 poor people and about 50 volunteers in the nearby Paul VI Hall for a lunch composed of lasagna, chicken with mushrooms and potatoes, dessert, fruit and espresso coffee.
Before the simple meal was served in the beautifully decked-out hall, the Pope thanked all those present and asked God to bless them and their families.