Pope Francis makes heartfelt plea after homeless man freezes to death near Vatican

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Despite suffering from another bout of sciatica, the Argentine pontiff was able to make an appearance at the Apostolic Palace library on Sunday. He gave his blessings and spoke about the Gospel and the plight of homeless people. In particular he drew attention to the tragic fate of a homeless man, named Edwin.

The 46-year-old froze to death near the Vatican on January 20 as cold temperatures gripped Rome.

Francis, 84, called on his audience to offer up prayers for Edwin, from Nigeria.

He decried that Edwin had been “ignored by all, abandoned even by us.”

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It comes as the Argentine pontiff was forced to remain seated throughout a meeting with members of the Roman Rota on Friday on account of his ongoing troubles with sciatica.

The event is an important landmark in the Roman Catholic calendar, as it marks the opening of the Holy See’s judicial year.

Addressing his audience, Pope Francis said: “I would like to speak to you standing up but sciatica is a troublesome guest.

“So I apologise and will speak sitting down.”

Pope Francis has suffered from the painful nerve condition for decades.

Sciatica is a nerve inflammation that normally affects the lower back and legs and can be extremely debilitating.

The pontiff was left paralysed for several days by sciatica in 2007.


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In the last week he has had to cancel three events due to his sufferings.

He was forced to pull out of giving Mass on Sunday, as well as evening prayer at St Paul’s Basilica.

In addition, a meeting scheduled for Monday with the diplomatic corps to the Holy See had to be rearranged.

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