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Open the doors

· The Pope meets a group of survivors of a shipwreck last year in Lampedusa ·

“I ask all the men and women of Europe to open the doors of their hearts”. Visibly moved by the stories of the survivors of the shipwreck on the coast of Lampedusa, Sicily, last year. 

Pope Francis again underlined the plight of migrants. He met with the survivors and their families on Wednesday afternoon, 1 October, in a small hall adjacent to the Paul VI Hall. The tragedy, which occurred on on 3 October 2013, claimed the lives of 368 people in the Mediterranean Sea.

Following the Holy Father's visit last year on 8 July to Lampedusa, chosen as the first visit of his Pontificate, the Bishop Rome symbolically returned to the island in Sicily receiving for half an hour about 40 Eritrean men and women, including 20 who survived the tragedy. They came to Rome from various countries in Europe where they had since been welcomed.

During the audience, one of the refugees asked for the Pope's support in the process of recognizing the still unidentified bodies. Another spoke to the Holy Father in his native language and a young girl thanked him for the various forms of aid given to migrants. 

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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