Pope Gives Respirators, Health Gear to Eswatini

Received in the Good Shepherd Catholic Hospital of Siteki

Pope Respirators
Presentation of the donation of Pope Francis in Eswatini © Diocese of Manzini

Pope Francis donated respirators and healthcare material to the Good Shepherd Catholic Hospital of Siteki, in the state of Eswatini, in the South of Africa, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are deeply grateful to you on receiving the donation of two portable respirators with supports, 10 boxes of surgical masks, 10 boxes of N95 masks, and pulse oximeters,” wrote the Bishop of Manzini, Monsignor Jose Luis Ponce de Leon. We met on August 11, 2021, in the Good Shepherd Catholic Hospital of  Siteki and presented Pope Francis’ donation of COVID-19 response teams,” said the Prelate of Argentine origin on the diocese’s blog.

The Holy Father’s Role during the Pandemic

 Monsignor Ponce de Leon also acknowledged Pope Francis’ active and orientating role in this difficult period of the health emergency. “From the beginning of this pandemic, which affects the whole world, Pope Francis has taken an active and protagonist role, either by suspending the General Audience or launching an appeal to the world for prayer,” said the Argentine Prelate in the diocesan publication.

In this connection, Bishop Manzini recalled the Prayer vigil presided over by the Pontiff in an empty Saint Peter’s Square on March 27, 2020. “It was the image of a world experiencing confinements, but at the same time the image of a Shepherd that stays close to his flock.”

Moreover, when vaccines became available, the Bishop of Rome “received the vaccine and urged the world to do the same, describing vaccination not only as a lifesaver but also as an ethical option.” Moreover, the Successor of Peter asked that the “most vulnerable” not be forgotten, calling for “universal access to the vaccines.” Thus, for the Prelate, “prayer, vaccines, solidarity with health systems worldwide,” together with the material he has donated to them, are the Holy Father’s offerings in these times of pandemic.

The Pope, Example of the Good Samaritan

 “There comes to mind on this point Jesus’ words at the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan: ‘Go and do likewise,” continues the Prelate.  Pope Francis’ example, he stresses, “is not only for religious leaders but for all of us: “as today’s Good Samaritans, we are called to prayer, to respect the anti-vaccine protocols, to be vaccinated, to encourage others to do the same and to support the needy.” Finally, Monsignor Ponce de Leon imparted a Blessing to all healthcare workers and doctors of the Catholic Hospital of Siteki.