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Guaranteeing safety, rights and dignity to migrants

· Pontiff’s appeal to the international community following recent shipwrecks in the Mediterranean ·

Safety, rights and dignity for migrants is the heartfelt appeal made by Pope Francis to the international community after the recent “shipwrecks of migrant boats” carrying children, women and men, “in the waters of the Mediterranean”. He called for decisive and prompt action “in order to avoid similar tragedies from repeating themselves and to guarantee security and the respect of the rights and dignity of all”. The Pope’s appeal came at the end of the Angelus which he recited before 25,000 faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, 22 July. Profoundly touched by the tragic news of recent weeks, he expressed his grief and said he would remember the “deceased and their families” in his prayers.

The Pope’s appeal was a call to solidarity and attention to the human person which he had anticipated in his reflection on the Sunday Gospel before the Marian prayer, as well as an invitation to follow the example of Jesus who gave himself for others, “thus becoming an example of love and service for each of us”. In the Gospel passage (Mk 6:30-34), the evangelist Mark tells the story of when Jesus, moved by so many people who sought him and needed his “guidance and help”, stopped among them to “teach them many things”. Struck by the attention of the Lord, the Pontiff highlighted three attitudes which he described as the three “verbs of the Pastor”: seeing, having compassion and teaching. Jesus, Pope Francis explained, “always looks with the eyes of the heart. And his heart is so tender and filled with compassion, and knows how to understand even the most hidden needs of people”. Jesus offers the “bread of the Word” to the starving and lost crowd. It is a response that also speaks to us today, the Pontiff added. “We all need the word of truth to guide and illuminate our path” because “it is not possible to find the right direction in life without the truth which is Christ”.   

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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