Papal almoner organizes a day at the circus for Rome’s poor

VATICAN CITY — Poor residents, the homeless, refugees and some prisoners were offered a special treat by the Vatican: a circus show.

The papal Almoner’s Office announced that the Rony Roller Circus in Rome made all 2,000 seats in their big top venue available for a free show Jan. 14.

Doctors and nurses from the Vatican’s health clinic were to be on hand at the event to offer free checkups and medical care from its mobile unit to those in need.

The show was to open with a song dedicated to Pope Francis, written by a homeless singer-songwriter from Spain as a way to “give thanks to the Holy Father for this latest gesture of being close” to others, the papal Almoner’s Office said in a statement.

The papal almoner said this gift offered by the circus performers could also be “an encouragement for our poorer brothers and sisters to overcome the hardships and difficulties in life that often times seem too great and insurmountable.”