As part of his now regular Friday Year of Mercy initiatives, Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the San Giovanni hospital in Rome. While at the hospital, the Holy Father visited the Neonatal unit.
The Pope, following health and safety procedures, put on a mask and protective clothing before visiting the incubators of twelve new-born babies, many of whom are experiencing severe complications. The Holy Father spoke with and comforted the parents of the children, before meeting with staff and families at the nursery on the floor above.
After his visit to the neonatal ward, the Pope visited terminally ill patients at the Villa Speranza Hospice, located in the north of Rome.
A release from the Holy See press office said that through these two ‘Mercy Friday’ actions, Pope Francis hoped to “send a strong signal about the importance of life from its first moment until its natural end”.