By Anne Kurian

Pope Francis sent 60,000 euros to a Bergamo hospital, as a sign of his closeness to the Italian city of Lombardy impacted by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, reported the diocese and the Vatican media on April 3, 2020.

Bergamo, the epicentre of the pandemic in the Peninsula, has seen the number of victims and infected grow in the last days. The Pope’s gift was sent to the Director of the John XXIII hospital, which will use this “concrete sign” of the Pope’s “paternity” to support the new structure set up to respond to the needs of the population.

Last March 18, the Holy Father telephoned the Bishop, Monsignor Beschi, who explained in a press release: “The expression of his paternity, as is understandable, included all the dioceses touched by the violence of the infection, but he wishes to manifest it particularly to the communities that are most affected. The Bergamo hospital, named after the holy Bergamese Pope, represents a motif of more than one a particular symbolic value for this gesture of Pope Francis’ closeness.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

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