Provision of Medical Assistance in the Jubilee of Mercy

Project location: Italy, Rome
Project start date: April 2016 - Project end date: June 2016
Project number: 2016-018
Beneficiary: Dioqeza E Sapes

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is a period of prayer for Catholics held from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), 2015 to the Feast of Christ the King (November 20), 2016.
There were almost 2,500 volunteers of the Sovereign Order of Malta active in Rome during the 12 months of this Extraordinary Jubilee.
The participants were from Europe and other countries. They provided medical assistance to the thousands of pilgrims expected in Rome during the year.

It is precisely in this facility – which has been offering free medical assistance to pilgrims since 1950 and which has been renovated and made even more functional for the Extraordinary Jubilee – that the greatest numbers of interventions have been recorded, with a peak in the months of June and April.
Overall, the pilgrims assisted in the four first-aid posts during the first nine months of the Jubilee have come from 69 different countries on all continents: some 1100 from Europe, 169 from the Americas, 37 from Asia, 15 from Oceania and 12 from Africa. Over 62% came from Italy. The average age of those treated was 48, mostly involving cardiovascular pathologies, osteoarticular traumas and skin lesions.

The Order of Malta’s volunteers working here come instead from the associations of 13 different nations including some outside Europe, such as Hong Kong and the Americas.
The Order of Malta’s commitment continued until the closure of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica on 20 November next, marking the end of the Jubilee of Mercy. Another thousand volunteers were joining those already present during the first nine months of the Jubilee.

From 12 December 2015 to 19 December 2015, the Albanian Organization of the Order of Malta with 12 members participated in this activity with three teams. Each team had 4 participants: a doctor, a nurse and two rescuers. They offered medical assistance in 2 points: at St Paul Outside the Walls and at St Peter’s Square.
In April 2016, with the participation of two other teams from Albanian Organization of the Order of Malta has provided medical assistance.

The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation awarded a grant for this project. The main activity was the provision of medical assistance in two points: Around St. Peter's and in the Basilica. There were eight volunteers divided in two groups with 4 volunteers for each group. In each team were 4 participants: a doctor, a nurse and 2 rescuers.
There were volunteers stationed at strategic points in and around the square, all of them wearing blue or yellow jackets or smocks, and everyone was helpful and nice (and spoke English).

The volunteers of organization departed from Rinas Airport and arrived in Rome where they offered the medical services. After the week of service they returned back in Shkodra.

The conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy was celebrated by Pope Francis with a special Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint Peter's Basilica.
The Mass was take place on the Solemnity of Christ, King on Sunday November 20.
The end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy was marked in dioceses throughout the world on Sunday November 13, the thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The aim of the Year of Mercy was to allow Catholics to show mercy and compassion and focus on forgiveness, reconciliation and doing good. The crossing of the threshold of a Holy Door is a sign of the passage from sin to grace.
Over the past year, many people have passed through the Door of Mercy and many pilgrims have done the Walk of Mercy in St Patrick's Cathedral. Many people have travelled from different parishes across the diocese and beyond and the many pilgrims have made the journey through the door and done the prayer walk in a spirit of openness to the loving mercy of God.

This activity was a great experience for Albanian Organization of the Order of Malta volunteers because they offered their help in medical services to all pilgrims and this was a good feeling for all participants.

Dioqeza E Sapes
think global, act local
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