By Anne Kurian

After the Vatican Museums, the Pharmacy and the Post, it’s now the turn of the Apostolic Almonry to close its doors, indicated a press release on March 12, 2020, while measures succeed one another in the small State to check the Coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic.

The office, which offers two services – “papal blessings” and aid to the destitute – will be temporarily closed to the public beginning March 14.

Parchments with the Apostolic Blessing can be requested only on the Internet site www.elemosineria.va and will be delivered by DHL, specifies the note.

People in need can leave their requests in the Apostolic Almonry’s letterbox, at the entrance of Saint Anne’s Gate. In case of urgency, it’s also possible to call the Almonry.

Not Abandon the Most Indigent

Two days earlier, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski explained that the showers and bathrooms in St. Peter’s Square remain open. “For the poor, it’s a necessity that must be respected. Obviously, this implies observing the norms and security distances . . . The message we wish to address to the homeless is this: you are not alone in facing an urgent situation; we are there, we support you in your needs.”

On the other hand, in keeping with Italian measures, the distribution of meals has been modified. “It’s necessary to avoid gatherings and, consequently, we have thought of a quick way to provide meals. We offering a bag that I call ‘the heart’s bag’ because it’s prepared with love. In it, we put a sandwich, two bananas, apples, tuna and we hand it over . . . It’s the most direct way not to abandon those already living in conditions of indigence who can risk being isolated evermore.”

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