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A day at the circus for Rome’s poor

VATICAN (CNS): Poor residents of Rome, the homeless, refugees and some prisoners were offered a special day out at a circus by the Vatican.

The office of the papal almoner—the Office of Papal Charities—announced that 2,000 seats in the big top of the Rony Roller Circus in Rome had been made available for a free show on January 14.

Doctors and nurses from the Vatican’s health clinic were on hand at the event to offer free checkups and medical care from its mobile unit to those in need.

The almoner’s office said in a statement that the show opened with a song dedicated to Pope Francis, written by a homeless singer-songwriter from Spain, as a way to “give thanks to the Holy Father for this latest gesture of being close” to others.

The papal almoner said the gift offered by the circus performers could also be “an encouragement for our poorer brothers and sisters to overcome the hardships and difficulties in life that often times seem too great and insurmountable.”

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