Pope Francis is praying for a homeless man who was found dead near the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square on Friday morning.
Burkhard Scheffler, a 61-year-old man born in Germany, died on a cold night on the street, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Nov. 25.
Like many homeless people in Rome, Scheffler sometimes spent his nights sleeping under the shelter of the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, where he received assistance from the Vatican Dicastery for the Service of Charity.
In the past decade, Pope Francis has established many services near the Vatican for the homeless, including a four-story homeless shelter, a medical clinic, a laundry service, showers, and an ambulance.
“Pope Francis learned with sorrow of the death of Burkhard Scheffler near the colonnade of St. Peter's last night,” Bruni said.
“In his prayer, the pope remembers Burkhard and all those who are forced to live without a home in Rome and around the world and invites the faithful to join him.”
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, entrusted Burkhard to the intercession of St. Francis while on pilgrimage in Assisi.