March 1, 2017
From Mumbai to Monaco and from Los Angeles to Le Havre, beggars ply their trade in every major metropolis. Sprawled in front of stores and restaurants or standing guard at busy train stations, the poor and the destitute compete with those playing the part to win some monetary gift from passers-by. In New York City, there are nearly 4,000 individuals begging for assistance. Comparable numbers roam the streets of London, Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro. Today’s tourist or pilgrim to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome cannot enter the safe embrace of Bernini’s colonnade without being approached by some mendicant with plaintive moans.