Pope pays surprise visit to Ukrainian refugee children in Rome hospital

Pontiff greets Ukrainian patients at Bambino Gesù.

Pope Francis on Saturday made a surprise visit to Ukrainian children being treated at the Vatican’s paediatric hospital in Rome after they fled the Russian invasion of their homeland.

The pontiff greeted the 19 Ukrainian patients at Ospedale Bambino Gesù, according to Vatican News, which reports that around 50 children from Ukraine have received treatment at the hospital since the war broke out.

The children are being treated for various illnesses, including oncological and neurological conditions, after their medical care in Ukraine was disrupted by the Russian invasion.

Pope Francis greets Ukrainian children at Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome on Saturday. Photos Vatican Media.

Some of the children are recovering from war injuries including “serious blast wounds”, the Vatican said.