Pope Francis surprised 2,000 immigrants living at a shelter close to the Vatican with Christmas presents. The 2,000 unsuspecting people were not given toys or candy but rather gifts that could help them connect with their families and make their lives in Rome a little easier. The Pope sent packages filled with Christmas cards he personally signed, phone cards, stamps and a free day pass for the metro. Speaking with the Catholic News Agency Sister Michelle of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries Of Rome said the “guests were very happy” with their gifts.

Sister Michelle said the immigrants received their gifts on Dec. 16 and were grateful for the opportunity to be able to connect with their families at Christmas. The 2,000 immigrants are staying at the Dono di Maria shelter which has been in service for over 25 years. The Pope’s gifts are a part of his recent string of generosity, which included spending his 77th birthday caring for some of the homeless that sleep outside the walls of the Holy Sea. The Pope was also named person of the year by Time Magazine due to his efforts to reform the Catholic Church.

2013 was a huge year for the Vatican. In less than 12 months, the Catholic Church saw the retirement of one Pope, an almost unprecedented event and the election of another who is quickly becoming one of the church’s most beloved Pontiffs. Pope Francis is known for his relaxed views and his efforts to try and take the Catholic Church on a more modern path. Pope Francis has appealed to young and old alike and also promised to work on eliminating the Church’s sexual abuse scandals.