VATICAN CITY – The Vatican's helipad is going to be getting a lot busier, for a good cause.
The Vatican on Friday signed an agreement with Rome's pediatric hospital to let it use the pope's helipad for emergency transport of patients and organs, around the clock.
The Holy See-owned Bambin Gesu, Europe's largest pediatric hospital and research center, is located just up the hill from the Vatican.
In a statement, hospital president Mariella Enoc said using the Vatican's helipad will greatly reduce transport time, "contributing in many cases to saving the lives of children."
Enoc said a key player in the deal was Domenico Giani, the pope's chief bodyguard, who is known for the gentle way he holds children up to the pope to be kissed whenever Francis is out in public.