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Vatican treats homeless to day at the circus

By editor - 16 January, 2016

Showers, haircuts and shaves were also available as well as a team of doctors, nurses and medical students offering check-ups and health advice.

Rony Roller Circus

Courtesy: Independent Catholic News – http://www.indcatholicnews.com

More than a thousand refugees and homeless, as well as prisoners on parole, were treated to a day at the circus on Thursday in Rome, courtesy of the Vatican’s Apostolic Charities and the Rony Roller Circus.

The Vatican ferried guests to the massive big-top tent on the outskirts of Rome, in the latest gesture of affection for the poor and needy, a hallmark of Pope Francis’ papacy.

The spectacular two-hour show was presented by seven generations of circus performers and featured knife throwing, acrobatics, prancing white horses, clowns, dancing and singing.

Guests were also treated to a meal and snacks.

There were showers, haircuts and shaves available and mobile medical services parked by the circus, with a team of doctors, nurses and medical students offering check-ups and health advice.

Circus owner Rony Vassallo works with horses and lions in the show and he does a trapeze act.

He said, “We all love performing, but for us artists its especially good and feels quite emotional to put on a show like this for people who might not have seen a circus. We do not want to teach anything except to bring people that feeling of being a kid again.”

One of the guests, a young homeless man called Marek, said the show really lifted his spirits.

“When difficult things have happened to you, you can feel quite depressed but something like is a small space to feel light-hearted for a time. I would like to thank Pope Francis for the chance to get here.”

When Pope Francis met a group of circus performers last year, he said “they create beauty” and that is good for the soul.

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