Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the neonatal unit San Giovanni Hospital in Rome on Friday, and blessed several premature babies and talked to their parents. The pontiff left papal medallions at every incubator. The visit was a surprise as part of the "Year of Mercy" jubilee celebration. Pope Francis has been leaving the Vatican one Friday afternoon each month to perform acts of mercy. After blessing the babies at San Giovanni Hospital, Pope Francis then visited a hospice and met with patients there.
By meeting with these two very different groups of people, Pope Francis was seeking to send a message that all life is valuable, regardless of age or health.