FIUMICINO, Italy (CNS) -- On the eve of Epiphany, when most
Italian children wake up to find gifts and candy, Pope Francis visited a
pediatric hospital outside Rome.
The pope arrived at the Palidoro Bambino Gesu Hospital at about 3 p.m. Jan.
5 and visited the various wards where about 120 children are receiving
treatment, according to the Vatican press office.
The pope greeted the children and "exchanged some words
of comfort with the parents who are caring for their children in their tiring
and painful trials," the statement said.
Visiting the hospital, Pope Francis was "continuing the
experience of the Mercy Fridays," visits he made to hospitals, orphanages
and other care facilities during the 2015-16 Year of Mercy.