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“Hello. Are the children there? It’s Pope Francis…”

Pope Sick
Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA
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The pope makes a surprise radio show call-in to sick children

VATICAN CITY —  On Saturday, May 27, Pope Francis will travel to the northern Italian port city of Genoa for a one-day apostolic visit.

One of the highlights of the day will be his meeting with sick children and their families, at the “Giannina Gaslini” pediatric hospital.

In anticipation of the pope’s visit, many of the young patients have busily been preparing small gifts and messages. But in the meantime, the pope decided to surprise them with a telephone call, on Wednesday after his meeting with President Donald Trump.

Linking-up live via telephone to a parish radio station in Genoa that broadcasts a weekly program dedicated to the children’s hospital, Pope Francis told the young patients that he is preparing to meet them with great joy.

“Hello. Are the children there? It’s Pope Francis,” he asked Fr. Roberto Fiscer, the priest who hosts the radio program.

Once the connection with the children was made, the Pope said: “Dear children of the Gaslini Hospital in Genoa, I greet you all with affection.”

The pope said he is coming to be close to them, to listen to them, and to bring the caress of Jesus. “He is always close to us especially when we are in difficulty and in need. He always gives us trust and hope.”

Pope Francis concluded his call assuring the sick children and their families that he is praying for them, and he asked them to pray for him.

“I can’t wait to see you. Be good,” he told them. Together with the children, he then prayed a Hail Mary.

Established in 1931, the Istituto Giannina Gaslini is a pediatric hospital affiliated with the University of Genoa. It is considered one of the foremost children’s hospitals in Europe and is formally recognized as a scientific institute for research, hospitalization and healthcare.

Contributing source: Vatican Radio 

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