One of the many difficulties for those who live on the streets is to be able to wash, dry and iron their clothes and blankets, and the Vatican-sponsored laundry is a response to Pope Francis’s invitation to give concrete signs of solidarity to our brothers and sisters in need.
A communiqué released by the Apostolic Almoner quotes from the Pope’s Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et misera, at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy:
“The desire for closeness to Christ requires us to draw near to our brothers and sisters, for nothing is more pleasing to the Father than a true sign of mercy. By its very nature, mercy becomes visible and tangible in specific acts.”
So, Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski noted: “Here is a concrete sign wanted by the office of Papal Charities: a place and a service to give concrete form to charity to restore dignity to so many people who are our brothers and sisters and who are called, with us, to build a city we can trust”.
The laundry room is located at the “People of Peace Center” run by the Sant’Egidio Community at the old hospital complex of San Gallicano, in the central Trastevere area of Rome.
The press release offers the information that the laundry boasts six, latest generation washers and six dryers along with several irons donated by the Whirlpool Corporation.
Other commercial detergent producers ensure the full and free supply of soap powder and fabric softener.