Pope Francis joined 1,200 guests in the Paul VI Hall on the occasion of World Day of the Poor for a shared Sunday lunch.
The Hall, typically a place for gatherings and events, was transformed into a large and unique restaurant, bringing together individuals from diverse walks of life for a moment of camaraderie and warmth.
After concluding his Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis was greeted by the eager guests who had gathered in the Paul VI Hall. The attendees, comprising the poor and their companions, extended their heartfelt welcome to the Pope while indulging in a Sunday lunch that transcended the boundaries of social status and fostered a sense of community. This annual lunch with Pope Francis has become a customary event, symbolizing solidarity and compassion on the World Day of the Poor.
The Pope initiated the lunch with a blessing, expressing gratitude to the Lord for the “moment of friendship, all together.” His words echoed a sense of unity, emphasizing the importance of shared meals as moments of connection and understanding. He also offered thanks for the meal itself and acknowledged the efforts of those who had prepared it with love and dedication.
The Paul VI Hall was adorned with tables decked in white and yellow flowers, providing a vibrant and joyful backdrop to the occasion. The imagery captured during this gathering depicted an unforgettable moment marked by hospitality, genuine concern, and love for those who, for the remainder of the year, often find themselves living on the streets. The atmosphere reflected the Pope’s commitment to breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of inclusion and dignity for all.
The event was organized by the Dicastery for the Service of Charity, underscoring the Vatican’s commitment to serving those in need. Hilton Hotels contributed to the occasion by providing the lunch, demonstrating a shared responsibility in uplifting the less fortunate. Special attention was given to the menu to ensure that the meal catered to the diverse backgrounds and preferences of the attendees, irrespective of their faith.
The menu featured cannelloni with Roman ricotta and spinach, accompanied by a Parmigiano Reggiano sauce. Sautéed white meatballs with a velouté of San Marzano tomatoes and basil, served with a cauliflower purée, followed as the main course. The delightful culinary journey concluded with Tiramisù and small pastry desserts, adding a sweet note to the day.
Before bidding farewell, Pope Francis took a moment to express his gratitude to all those who contributed to making the lunch possible. His words acknowledged the collaborative effort that went into creating a festive atmosphere and ensuring that this gathering was not just a meal but a celebration of shared humanity. The Pope’s parting words resonated with a spirit of gratitude, reinforcing the idea that compassion and kindness can transcend boundaries and bring people together in the spirit of unity and love.
Pope Francis’s shared Sunday lunch with 1,200 guests in the Paul VI Hall on the World Day of the Poor was not merely a meal but a powerful symbol of solidarity, compassion, and the shared responsibility to uplift those in need.