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PICTURES: Pope visits sick children on Epiphany Eve

(CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

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 3pm on January 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.

(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)