The following is the text of the video message that the Holy Father Francis sent to participants in “An Evening of Stars for the Bambino Gesù”, a solidarity evening event to celebrate the 150 years of the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital, taking place this evening in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall:
Video Message of the Holy Father
I have had the opportunity to meet the children and young people of the Bambino Gesù Hospital several times. I was immediately aware of the commitment and passion of the doctors, nurses, researchers, and those who are close to the little patients. I saw tenderness in gazes and the warmth of embraces in places where there is certainly pain and suffering, but also courage and hope, great hope. Bambino Gesù was established 150 years ago as a gift of love – the offering of a money-box – to welcome and care for the young patients of the city of Rome. Throughout this century and a half of history, medicine has made extraordinary progress, and the hospital has been able to invest in research and put science at the service of charity.
The Bambino Gesù has grown a lot in skills and knowledge, and has become one of the most important paediatric care centres in Europe and in the world. It has broadened the boundaries of its activity to welcome young patients who cannot be treated in the countries where they live, and to help those countries to grow in medical science, tangibly exercising that “charity of knowledge” so dear to our beloved Pope Saint Paul VI.
The suffering of children remains the hardest to accept. But those who care for children are certainly on God’s side, and overcome the throwaway culture. In this way the Bambino Gesù Hospital, in its daily care activity, becomes a sign of the charity of the whole Church that places itself at the service of the weak and the most fragile.