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The Holy Father prays for migrants who died in shipwreck off the coast of Greece

epa10690155 Paramedics of the Greek National Emergency Ambulance Service (EKAV) and members of the ...
23 June 2023

Around 500 individuals are still feared missing, with at least 81 lives lost, following the sinking of an overcrowded fishing vessel off the coast of Greece on Wednesday, 14 June. The Holy Father expressed deep dismay over this catastrophic loss of life and sent a telegram to Greece’s Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawłowski, offering heartfelt prayers for the deceased migrants, their loved ones, and all those traumatized by the tragedy. Pope Francis also invoked God’s gifts of strength, perseverance, and hope for the survivors and those providing them with care and shelter.

Eyewitness testimonies suggest that the rusty trawler may have carried up to 750 people, including children. As of Wednesday, 21 June, authorities have rescued 104 individuals, while a search and rescue operation continues. During his Angelus address on Sunday, 18 June, the Holy Father reiterated his prayers for those who lost their lives in the tragedy and urged that everything possible be done to prevent similar incidents. The International Organization for Migration ( iom ) has described the incident as the worst tragedy in the Mediterranean in several years.