“Ignored by all, abandoned by us” – Pope invites prayers for homeless Nigerian man found dead in Rome

Pope Francis yesterday prayed for a homeless Nigerian man who died near St. Peter’s Square amid freezing temperatures.

The Nigerian man, Edwin, was the fourth homeless person to die this year in Rome, where there are an estimated 8,000 homeless people.

Speaking after the Angelus, the pope led prayers for the 46-year-old Edwin, who was found dead by volunteers from the Community of Sant’Egidio on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

“Last Jan. 20, a few meters from St. Peter’s Square, a 46-year-old Nigerian homeless man named Edwin was found dead because of the cold,” the pope said.

“His story was added to that of many other homeless people who recently died in Rome in the same dramatic circumstances. Let us pray for Edwin.”

The Pope then recalled a story from the papacy of St. Gregory the Great. When he witnessed the death of a beggar in the cold, the 6th century Pope ordered that all Masses be suspended for a whole day, “because it was Good Friday”

“May we be reminded of the words of St. Gregory the Great, who, when faced with the death of a mendicant from cold, said that Masses would not be celebrated that day because it was like Good Friday.”

“Let us think about Edwin. Let us think of what this man, 46 years old, felt in the cold, ignored by all, abandoned, even by us. Let us pray for him.”

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