Papal Blessing of “Sheltering”, a Gift to the Vincentian Family

by | Nov 22, 2022 | News

To all the members of the Vincentian Family

Rome, 18 November 2022

My dear brothers and sisters,

May the grace and peace of Jesus be always with us! I am writing this note to celebrate a happy event within the Vincentian Family.

On Wednesday 9th November, as part of the lead up to the Sixth World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis blessed “Sheltering” a sculpture depicting the plight of those suffering homelessness across the world. The event took place on the steps of St Peters and was attended by several Heads of the Vincentian Family and the members of the international Advisory Board for the FamVin Homeless Alliance.

The sculpture was created and presented to Pope Francis by the internationally renowned sculptor Timothy Schmalz. Pope Francis, in turn, donated the statue to the Vincentian Family in support of the 13 House Campaign of the Famvin Homeless Alliance. You can find a short video of the blessing here with subtitles: English Spanish Italian French Portuguese Polish

To mark this event Fr Bob Maloney has written a reflection which I hope you can share with your congregations and associations – again it is translated into the various languages of the Vincentian Family. As we enter into the season of Advent we remember that Mary and Joseph were homeless when Jesus came into this world: English Spanish Italian French Portuguese Polish.

The final resting place for the statue is still being discussed with Vatican authorities but I invite you to consider whether you might want to commission a copy of the statue for your branch, as a symbol of the Vincentian Family’s shared mission to the poor. If you wish to discuss this further, please contact Yasmine Cajuste at

Finally, in donating this statue to the Vincentian Family Pope Francis encourages us to work towards practical solutions for those suffering homelessness. To date, the 13 Houses Campaign has housed 8,600 people in 60 countries across the world and is well on its way to its target of helping 10,000 people find a place to call home.

As the Holy Father did, I invite you to actively participate in the Campaign to propose new projects and especially in countries where we have yet to provide housing.

Please contact for more details. Your brother in Saint Vincent,

Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, CM
President of the Vincentian Family Executive Board

© Vatican Media