Pope Francis visits Ukrainian refugee children hospitalized in Rome
By Courtney Mares
Catholic News Agency
March 20, 2022
VATICAN— Pope Francis made a surprise visit on Saturday to Ukrainian refugee children being treated in the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome.
The children suffering from cancer, neurological diseases, and other illnesses were brought to Italy for medical treatment during the first days of the war in Ukraine.
Some of the hospitalized children suffer from serious blast wounds from the war, according to Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
Pope Francis stopped in the hospital rooms to visit all of the children staying in the ward on the afternoon of March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, before returning to the Vatican.
In total, 50 Ukrainian children have been treated in Rome since the outbreak of the war, 19 of which were in the hospital ward on the day of the pope’s visit.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis prayed ahead of his general audience for “all the children who are living under the bombs, who see this terrible war, who have no food, who must flee, leaving home, everything.”
“Lord Jesus, look upon these children, these children, they are the victims of the pride of us, the adults. Lord Jesus, bless these children and protect them. Together we pray to Our Lady to protect them,” Pope Francis said.
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