Pope Francis on July 22, 2018, offered his prayers for the many deaths in recent weeks resulting from shipwrecks of boats carrying migrants in the Mediterranean. His comments came after praying the noonday Angelus with the pilgrims.
“Tragic news has arrived in these last weeks of shipwrecks of boats carrying migrants in the waters of the Mediterranean,” the Holy Father said. “I express my grief, in face of such tragedies, and I assure my remembrance in prayer for the deceased and their families. I make a heartfelt appeal to the international community to act with determination and promptness, to avoid similar tragedies being repeated, and to guarantee the safety, respect of rights and dignity of all.”
According to the United Nations, more than 1,000 migrants have perished in Mediterranean wrecks in 2018.
The Holy Father continues to be an ardent advocate for the rights of migrants and refugees. He celebrated a Mass for Migrants at the Altar of the Chair, in St. Peter’s Basilica on July 6, 2018. The Mass coincided with the fifth anniversary of the visit of Pope Francis to Lampedusa on July 8, 2013.
The Mass was a time of prayer for the deceased, for the survivors and for those who assist them. Approximately 200 people were present, including refugees and caregivers.