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VATICAN HELPS THE HOMELESS, plans to provide free showers, haircuts and shaves near St. Peter's Square

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By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
1/29/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis' almoner initiates plans to provide public bathrooms for the homeless near St. Peter's Square.

The Vatican will begin providing homeless people in Rome a place to not only shower, but to also receive haircuts and shaves starting next month, according to Pope Francis' charity office.

Rome's homeless can receive free haircuts, shaves and showers beginning February 16.

Rome's homeless can receive free haircuts, shaves and showers beginning February 16.

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St Peter's Square will open with the grooming facilities, beginning February 16. Bishop Konrad Krajewski told the Italian Catholic newspaper, Avvenire, "Barbers and hairdressers will volunteer their services on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy."

According to Krajewski, chairs, haircutting instruments and mirrors have already been donated to the Catholic Church's government, the Holy See.

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The idea of building showers and public bathrooms near St. Peter's Square came from Pope Francis' almoner, Krajewski after a visit with a homeless man named Franco last year, according to PBS.

Franco was offered dinner with the bishop, but declined. He was afraid he smelled too bad.

St. Peter

St. Peter's Square will be the destination for free showers, haircuts, and shaves for Rome's homeless under Pope Francis' almoner Bishop Konrad Krajewski.


Although it is relatively easy for a person to find somewhere to eat at Rome charities, finding a place to wash up is difficult, according to Franco.

"Here no one starves to death," Franco told Krajewski. "You can find a sandwich every day. But there is no place to use the toilet and wash."

Krajewski "immediately received the Pope's backing for the shower project and then expanded it to include haircuts and shaves," according to Yahoo News.

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Along with the St Peter's Square facilities, Krajewski chose ten Roman parishes the homeless often visit and built showers there, as well, according to The Guardian.

Serving the poor is known to be one of Pope Francis' priorities; during a 2013 visit to homeless shelter in Rome, the Pope is quoted as saying, "To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete. It means to see in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you, are dear brothers and sisters, in the face of Jesus."

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