Pope Francis Makes a Surprise Visit to House that Serves the Disabled

Pope Francis Makes a Surprise Visit to House that Serves the Disabled

ITALY – Pope Francis loves surprises. This weekend, he spent time at a cooperative for the disabled, Durante e Dopo di Noi, Casa OSA. The home is part of a non-profit foundation that has assisted people with disabilities since 1984. Pope Francis shook hands and gave hugs. During his visit, he spent individual time with each one of the 200 people gathered.

Pope Francis said he was grateful for his time with those at the cooperative, and called the time he spent there a “family day.” He told those present that they should “believe in dreams and in the beauty of life in union with the Lord.”

Casa OSA helps families develop a long-term care plan after home care is no longer a possibility.

Luca Milanese is the president of the group. He spoke to Pope Francis, saying, “we have always taken to heart the happiness and well-being of those we assist.” The group serves almost 50,000 Italians. The goal of Casa OSA is to serve each person they encounter, helping them improve their life and stay connected to their family.

“Casa OSA is a project of life that stimulates the emotions, attitudes, relationships, and the desires of those assisted and which sustains the families whose only desire is that of guaranteeing the dignified future of their children even beyond when they are no longer present,” Mr. Milanese explained to Vatican News.

The cooperative is part of a larger Italian organization, Anffas. The organization fights for the “rights of people with disabilities always, anywhere, and in any case.” The organization works towards a world “that does not see diversity as a limit or an obstacle, but as a source of enrichment and growth.”

The day before the visit, Pope Francis tweeted a message about loving service to his followers.