NEWS
24/04/2018 07:38 SAST | Updated 24/04/2018 07:39 SAST

Pope Francis Buys Gelato For Rome's Poor And Homeless

Pope Francis had a sweet treat ready on Monday for Rome’s poor and homeless residents — a scoop of gelato. 

burakkarademir via Getty Images
Rome's soup kitchens and shelters distribute about 3,000 servings of gelato on Monday.

Pope Francis had a sweet treat ready on Monday for Rome's poor and homeless residents — a scoop of gelato.

The pope's personal charity funded the special dessert in honor of the feast day for his namesake, St. George, The Associated Press reports. Francis' name at birth was Jorge (George) Mario Bergoglio.

Rome's Catholic soup kitchens and shelters distributed about 3,000 servings of gelato on Monday, according to Vatican News.

Francis, who became pope in 2013, has taken a special interest in his neighbors who don't have a stable place to sleep at night. He appointed Polish Archbishop Konrad Krajewski as his personal almoner, tasking him with distributing charity to Rome's poor in Francis' name. The position has been largely ceremonial in the past, but Krajewski is credited with revitalizing the job to reflect Francis' goal of direct outreach.

TIZIANA FABI via Getty Images
Homeless persons prepare to sleep under an arcade at the Vatican in November 2014.

The archbishop's office has distributed sleeping bags to the homeless, as well as provided them with free showers, haircuts and laundry services.

For his 80th birthday, Francis invited a group of homeless people to eat breakfast with him. The meal featured pastries, meats, Nutella and some sweets from Francis' native Argentina.

The pontiff is known for having a sweet tooth, and friends from home often supply him with alfajores, Argentine cookies filled with dulce de leche and coated in chocolate.

Photo gallerySelfies With Pope Francis See Gallery