Holy Father Pope Francis paid a visit to Bambino Gesu Hospital, a children’s hospital outside Rome, as a part of his “Friday of Mercy” initiative and he visited the various wards in the hospital and greeted the hospitalized children along with their families. Several Pope have visited this hospital, with Pope St. John Paul xxiii visiting the main centre in 1958. Blessed Pope Paul VI followed next visit in 1968 and ten years later started Palidoro centre.
Pope Francis’ visit to the hospital is a continuation of his “Mercy Friday” custom which he began during the Jubilee of Mercy, in 2016.Originally planned once per month for the duration of the jubilee, the Pope has continued these visits as a means of practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. He has met with refugees, children, women freed from sex trafficking, and the terminally ill, among others.
The Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital was begun in 1869 by Duke Scipione Salviati and his wife who were moved by the condition of children who were treated in general hospitals. Their gesture invited others to contribute and helped the growth of the hospital. On 24 January 1924, the hospital was donated to the Holy See. Since then it has been popularly known as the Pope’s hospital.