Pope Francis has paid a visit to the Vatican's new homeless shelter.

Francis slipped out of the Vatican gates Thursday evening to greet the 30 or so men who have taken up residence at the shelter a few blocks from St. Peter's Square.

The Vatican said Friday that Francis spent about 20 minutes with the men and the volunteers who run the shelter, greeting each one and getting a tour of the dormitory and other rooms of the facility.

On hand to greet him was Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, his chief alms-giver whose office funded the shelter, the Jesuit superior as well as the nuns from Mother Teresa's order who operate it.

In addition to the shelter, the Vatican now operates showers and a barber shop for the neighborhood's homeless.