· Vatican City ·

Pope Francis embraces the suffering of migrants

 Pope Francis embraces the suffering of migrants  ING-047
24 November 2023

On Friday afternoon, 17 November, at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis met with some migrants and representatives of entities involved in welcoming and integrating refugees, accompanied by Fr Mattia Ferrari, chaplain of Mediterranea Saving Humans and Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Among them was Cameroonian Mbengue Nyimbilo Crepi, known as Pato. The 30-year old lost his wife Matyla and his six year old daughter Marie, to extreme heat, hunger and thirst while crossing the desert between Libya and Tunisia on a journey of hope towards a better future. Pato brought a picture of himself with his wife and daughter to show the Pope. The Holy Father blessed Pato, holding his hand on his head for a long time, and told him he had prayed a lot for his wife and daughter, leaving Pato moved to tears. He now lives in a refugee centre on the outskirts of Rome where he is completing his application for asylum.

Addressing all those present Pope Francis said, “This is Christ, This is Christ who is suffering... He is in every person who suffers from this injustice”. At the end of the meeting, the Holy Father asked for prayers for those who work for others, for those who could not participate in the encounter, for people held in detention camps and for all those who suffer.