During his weekly Angelus address, the Holy Father once again called for prayer for the victims of the tragic shipwreck on the Italian island of Lampedusa, located 75 miles from Tunisia.
“I would like to remember with you all those who lost their lives in Lampedusa on Thursday. Let us all pray in silence for these brothers and sisters of ours: women, men, children. Let our hearts weep,” the Pope said. An estimated 100,000 people joined the Holy Father in silent prayer for the victims.
On Thursday, tragedy struck as a boat carrying roughly 500 migrants sank when a fire was set on board to call attention to passing boats in effort. The fire spread causing the boat to drown. The death toll as of Monday morning is at 195, among them 4 children, while efforts are continuing to find hundreds of bodies lost at sea. 155 of the passengers survived.
The plight of migrants making their way into Lampedusa is an issue close to the Holy Father’s heart as evidenced during his pastoral visit to the island on July 8th. During that visit, Pope Francis warned of a culture of comfort that makes one think only of themselves and become deaf to the cries of those suffering, resulting in a “globalization of indifference.”
“In this globalized world,” the Pope said during his homily in July, “we have fallen into globalized indifference. We have become used to the suffering of others: it doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business!”
The Holy Father also brought attention to the recent tragedy near the Italian island during his pastoral visit to Assisi on Friday. During his address to several poor people in the room where centuries ago, Francis renounced his wealth to embrace poverty, the Pope called attention to those who suffer in this world seeking a better life and instead meet death.
“How often with so much grief we see that they meet with death, as happened yesterday at Lampedusa,” the Pope said on Friday.
“Today is a day of lamentation!”