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Continuing Mercy Friday Practice, Pope Visits Center For The Blind

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Continuing Mercy Friday Practice, Pope Visits Center For The Blind

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis returned to a practice he
developed during the Year of Mercy: making a Friday-afternoon visit to people
in need of or deserving special care.

For the visit March 31, he chose the Sant’ Alessio-Margherita
di Savoia Regional Center for the Blind in Rome. The center is home to 37
adults and senior citizens who are blind or severely visually impaired, but the
structure also offers specialized classes for 50 children with the same

“With this visit, the pope wants to continue the
so-called Mercy Friday visits carried out during the Jubilee of Mercy,”
the Vatican said in a statement. The visits were designed to reflect the
spiritual and corporal works of mercy with “those who live in situations
of physical and social exclusion.”

The pope’s visit was scheduled to last about two hours.

The center was founded in 1868 by lay Catholics with the
support of Pope Pius IX and specialized in giving a general education to
children who were blind, teaching them to read Braille. It also teamed up with
Rome’s Santa Cecilia Conservatory, offering many of the young students a
musical education.


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