Recalling that June 20 marks World Refugee Day, Pope Francis has made an appeal on the behalf of hundreds of thousands of refugees, calling on institutions to offer them concrete help.
At the conclusion of today’s General Audience, he recalled those forced to leave their homes to flee from conflict and persecution. He noted that the number of refugees is growing, as people must abandon their homes in order to save their lives.
He said, “Millions of refugee families from different nations and of every religious faith live through dramatic stories and carry deep wounds that will be hard to heal.”
Francis noted how Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were refugees, as they had to flee from danger shortly after Jesus’ birth.
Speaking off the cuff, Pope Francis said, “We believe that Jesus was a refugee, had to flee to save his life, with Saint Joseph and Mary, had to leave for Egypt. He was a refugee. Let us pray to Our Lady who knows the pain of refugees.”
The Pontiff appealed to the faithful “to be close to these people, sharing their fears and their uncertainty for the future, and alleviating their pain with concrete measures.”
He prayed, “Mary, mother of refugees, pray for us” asking that “the Lord sustain those people and institutions who work with generosity to assure a welcome to refugees, recognize their dignity and give them reasons for hope.” (D.C.L.)