VATICAN CITY, JUNE 18, 2012 ( Benedict XVI spoke of this Wednesday's UN World Refugee Day after praying the midday Angelus on Sunday.

The Pope noted that the purpose of the day "is to draw the international community’s attention to the situations of so many persons, especially families, who are forced to flee their homelands because of armed conflicts and grave forms of violence."

"I assure my prayers and the solicitude of the Holy See for these brothers and sisters who are so afflicted," he said, "while I desire that their rights always be respected and that they can reunite soon with their loved ones."