Pope Francis received an unusual presentation at the end of his General Audience on Wednesday: A representation of Noah’s Ark made out of over 140 kilograms of chocolate.
It is a gift of “La banda degli Orsi” [The Band of Bears], which is a charitable organisation in Genoa that supports the city’s Giannina Gaslini Pediatric Hospital. The organization has over 200 volunteers who visit patients and their families every day.
The chocolate ark took three days to build, and contains over 50 edible animals made by pastry chefs and chocolatiers from all over Italy. Several extra animals were made, and have been sold by “La banda degli Orsi” to raise funds for the Genoa hospital.
The Chocolate Ark was also to be used to support patients of a children’s hospital, but in a more direct way: At the end of the Audience, the Ark was donated as a special dessert for the young patients at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, located in Rome.