Source: Vatican News
Today, 23 April was the feast of Saint George the martyr and the name day of Pope Francis - Jorge Mario Bergoglio. To mark the occasion the Holy Father made a gift of ventilators, medical equipment, masks, and protective glasses and gowns for doctors and nurses working in intensive care. Several hospitals are receiving the gifts - one in Suceava, Romania, will be accepting five latest generation ventilators; another two are going to a hospital in Lecce, Italy, and three more to a hospital in Madrid, Spain.
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, said the gifts are "a beautiful sign that falls on this particular day when the Holy Father does not receive a gift but gives it to others.. an embrace of the Pope in a difficult situation for the whole world."
Romania is experiencing a real emergency in the small town of Suceava, where the ventilators will go. Almost 25% of the cases in Romania are there. The entire town, together with a large area around it, located in one of the poorest parts of Romania and the EU, is under strict quarantine.
In Romania there have more than 500 deaths, and almost 10,000 people infected with Covid-19. The ventilators and all the equipment donated by the Pope will be transported by a flight that will also carry a team of eleven Romanian doctors and six health workers that were sent on 7 April by the government of Bucharest to a hospital in Lecce to work alongside Italy in its difficult battle against the coronavirus.
The three ventilators in Madrid will be taken care of by the Nunciature which, together with Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, Archbishop of the Spanish capital, will bring them to the hospitals most in need. The country is in lockdown until 9 May. The number of those infected exceeds 208,000, the death toll stands at over 21,000 and almost 86,000 have been cured of the coronavirus. Two ventilators destined for the hospital in Lecce were delivered today by Cardinal Krajewski himself. On the journey back to the Vatican, the Papal Almoner stopped in Naples to receive medicine for the poor of Rome.
A few days before Easter, two ventilators, along with medical devices for doctors and nurses, and also Easter eggs arrived directly from the Vatican at the Cotugno hospital in Naples.
Last year, again on the day of his name day, Pope Francis donated Rosary wreaths made for WYD in Panama to young people in the archdiocese of Milan, and a 20 kg chocolate egg to the poor at the Caritas canteen at Termini Station in Rome.
Pope Francis has also received many good wishes for his name day, including greetings from the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.
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