Pope 'Gave Hope' to Rome's Prisoners With Ice Cream

Vatican says 15K ice creams were delivered to 2 prisons
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2021 1:29 PM CDT
Thanks to Pope, Rome's Prisoners Got Ice Cream
Pope Francis walks amongst attendees during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – Italy may have broken the record for the hottest temperature ever logged in Europe—and amid the sweltering heat, Pope Francis made a gesture that's quite literally cool. A statement from the Vatican said that 15,000 ice creams were sent to prisoners in Rome. Reuters reports the "gelati" as it calls the dessert were delivered to the prisons in the pope's name by Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who as "the pope's almoner" hands out alms to those in need.

It wasn't an isolated atypical move, with a statement noting that "visiting prisoners" is among the two works of mercy (there are seven total, per the Guardian) that volunteers with the pope’s charities office devoted themselves to. As part of that, "the 'charitable arm of the Holy Father' has made small evangelical gestures to help and give hope to thousands of people in Rome's prisons"—among others. This summer the office also brought homeless people "to the sea or the lake … for an afternoon of relaxation and dinner in a pizzeria," sent a CT scan machine to a health facility in Madagascar, and contributed more than $2 million to bolster medical facilities in three unspecified countries in Africa. (Last month, Francis urged people to get vaccinated against COVID as an "act of love.")

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