Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a rehabilitation center for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. His visit was as part of his monthly works of mercy which he carries out on Fridays during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Stressing to his simplicity, the Pope arrived at the Fr. Mario Picchi Italian Center for Solidarity on Friday without any special escort. He was accompanied only by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Arriving at the rehabilitation center, the Pope offered words of hope to the 60 guests who were receiving treatment.
“He met at length with each one of them like a loving father listening to their stories and embracing them one by one,” said Roberto Mineo, the Center’s president.
In his words of hope, the Pope advised them “not to be devoured by the ‘metastasis’ of drugs and, embracing them, wanted to make understood how the path started in the community is a real chance” to restart with “a life worth living,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who accompanied the Pope.