Pope Francis among the poorest, the Roma of Slovakia

It is a very busy day for Pope Francis, 84, who is in Slovakia. It is his first trip abroad since a colon operation in July. The Argentine Sovereign Pontiff began his day with a mass with a Byzantine liturgy in the country’s second city, Presov.

He also goes to meet young people in the stadium in the town of Kosice, in the east of the country.

In this city, the pope must visit Lunik IX, a dilapidated district where 4,500 inhabitants are crowded, in a space intended to accommodate half as many. The residents of Lunik IX are the Roma community, and it is to them that Francis wants to devote time. For the Roma this visit is expected as a miracle. Almost 20% of Roma in Slovakia live in deep poverty, in more than 600 slums. As elsewhere in Europe, they are victims of discrimination.


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