By Anne Kurian

On the morning of Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020, Pope Francis blessed an ambulance he gave to the Apostolic Almonry for the destitute, in particular the homeless that live in the surroundings of the Vatican or in makeshift housing in Rome.

With SCV registration, the vehicle that was used for emergencies in the small state was put exclusively at the disposition of the Governorate to assist and rescue the poorest, who are “invisible” to health organisms, specified a press release.

The note stated that this gesture is made in memory of the “sad story “ of the old homeless Modesta Valenti — after whom a street in Rome is named — who died on January 31, 1983, without being rescued. Passers-by called the rescue services seeing her suffering near the Termini station, but an ambulance refused to help her because of her lack of hygiene; then several hospitals transferred the responsibility for the intervention. When the latter arrived it was too late.

The Vatican’s ambulance will support the fixed and mobile clinics of the Apostolic Almonry, active now for several years.

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