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Home / Charity and Solidarity

Pope’s Small Christmas gift to the Poor


Vatican City, 14 December 2013: On the occasion of Christmas, on behalf of the Pope, the Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, will be distributing a small gift to the poor whom he met or assist. The Apostolic Almoner is the Holy See’s office which oversees acts of charity toward the poor on behalf of the Pope.

During the next few days, 2000 envelops will be distributed, in the places where the poor are offered meals. Sisters of Mother Teresa and other volunteers will also assist in the distribution.
Contained in the envelope are the Christmas image signed by the Pope, calling cards and day passes for the subway. Each envelope has already been franked with Vatican, so it can be used - by simply attaching the address - to send cards or greetings to their family or friends.

The Directorate of ATAC (Municipal Transportation Agency of Rome ) offered 4000 day-tickets for the Subway, and the Vatican Post Office has donated the stamps and envelopes.

Archbishop Krajewski gets his marching orders each morning from the Pope. A Vatican gendarme goes from the Vatican hotel where Francis lives to Krajewski’s office across the Vatican gardens, bringing a bundle of letters that the pope has received from the faithful asking for help. On the top of each letter, Francis might write “You know what to do” or “Go find them” or “Go talk to them.”

The Archbishop visits homes for the elderly in the name of the pope, writes checks to the needy in the name of the pope – even traveled to the island of Lampedusa in the name of the pope after a migrant boat capsized last month, killing more than 350 people.

Over four days on Lampedusa, Krajewski bought 1,600 phone cards so the survivors could call loved ones back home in Eritrea to let them know they had made it. He also prayed with police divers as they worked to raise the dead from the sea floor.

“This is the concept: Be with people and share their lives, even for 15, 30 minutes, an hour,” Krajewski said. The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio “would go out at night in Buenos Aires, not just to find people, talk with them, or buy them something to eat … He would eat with them. He would sit with them and eat with them on the street. This is what he wants from me.”Source: VR Sedoc