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Pope receives gifts from Rome’s Anglican community on visit

February 27, 2017 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2520

Pope Francis receives a 'Simnel Sunday' cake during his visit to Rome's All Saints Anglican Church. Photo: ANSA
Pope Francis receives a ‘Simnel Sunday’ cake during his visit to Rome’s All Saints Anglican Church. Photo: ANSA
By Devin Sean Watkins, Vatican Radio

Meals for the poor, bibles for African victims of human trafficking, and a special Lenten cake. These were the gifts Pope Francis received from the Anglican community of Rome on his Sunday visit to All Saints Church.

On the occasion of its 200th anniversary, Rome’s Anglican parish offered Pope Francis several gifts, two for the poor in his name and another for his palate.

First, All Saints parish and its twin Catholic parish in Rome, Ognissanti (‘All Saints’ in English), said they would offer a meal every Friday evening for the poor around the Ostiense train station in Pope Francis’ name.

Second, of the 200 English bibles printed for the parish’s anniversary, 50 will be donated to ‘prostitutes in Western Africa who often ask for them’.

The bibles will be distributed by a network of sisters who help victims of human trafficking, many of whom end up in forced prostitution.

Finally, some of the best products of the Anglican Church, including homemade jams and mustards, as well as a ‘Simnel Sunday cake’.

The cake is a traditional English treat for the 4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) and is decorated with 11 balls of marzipan to symbolize the 12 Apostles, minus Judas Iscariot. ‘Simnel’ derives from the Latin word ‘simila’, meaning fine wheaten flour. Simnel cakes were often given by girls in domestic service to their mothers when they had a rare day off on ‘Mothering Sunday’.