A homeless 46-year-old Nigerian man living in Rome has died from exposure to cold after he was “ignored by all (and) abandoned”, Pope Francis said from the Vatican City on Sunday, calling attention to the plight of the poor and needy.
The man simply identified as Edwin was discovered dead just a few meters from St. Peter’s Square on January 20.
“Let us think of Edwin, let us think of what this 46-year-old man felt in the cold, ignored by all, abandoned, even by us. Let us pray for him,” the Pope said before pausing for a few seconds in prayer for the deceased.
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Sant’ Egidio, a Catholic charity group dedicated to social service said Edwin was at least the fourth homeless person to die of the cold in the city this year and the 10th since November.
The Charity along with other groups search the streets of Rome for the homeless to direct them to shelters and give out blankets and food.
An estimated 8,000 people are homeless in Rome, of whom only 4,000 to 5,000 are in shelters provided by the council or charities.