Homeless, Buddhists and Caritas: Taiwan's national holiday in the name of 'Fratelli tutti
A Taiwanese lunch offered at the Migliori Palace, now the "poor man's palace", run by the Pope's almsgiver. Sleeping bags for those who live on the street; cans of tuna and ecological blankets donated to Caritas in Rome by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. Ambassador Lee: "To put into practice the encouragement of the Pope in 'Fratelli tutti’ in matters of fraternity".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - October 10 is the national holiday of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Usually, the Taiwanese embassy to the Holy See invites friends and personalities to a gathering with a generous buffet. This year, in response to Pope Francis’s encyclical "Fratelli tutti", the way of celebrating the 109th anniversary of the Republic has radically changed.
With the collaboration of His Holiness's almsgiver, Card. Konrad Krajewski, Caritas Rome and the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation were invited to a Taiwanese-style lunch with the homeless and abandoned people, who are "relegated to the peripheries and destined to become shadows" as the Pontiff often says.
The embassy donated "made in Taiwan" sleeping bags to the homeless and to Caritas, the Tzu Chi Foundation distributed tuna cans and ecological blankets, made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
The two events took place on 8 October inside Palazzo Migliori, thanks to the assistance of Card. Krajewski, and on 7 October at the Casa Santa Giacinta of Caritas Rome, Fr. Benoni Ambarus and Andrea Zampetti, director and general secretary of Caritas Rome.
Ambassador Matthew S.M. Lee says “it was an honour to share the spirit of National Day with our struggling brothers and sisters, as well as the values of inclusion, hospitality and friendship embraced by Taiwan. The Embassy wished to put into practice the Pope's encouragement in ‘Fratelli tutti’ in matters of fraternity: 'Fraternity is not a trend or a fashion ... but rather it is the demonstration of concrete acts', and to promote cooperation and exchanges interreligious in order to send humanitarian aid where it is most needed ".
On both occasions, the ambassador wanted to personally serve hot meals to the poor and homeless people of the city.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy, the embassy has supplied medical equipment and personal protective equipment manufactured in Taiwan to various Vatican institutions, religious orders and Catholic hospitals, following the appeal for solidarity launched by the Holy Father.