In memory of the 6th anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa, on Monday, July 8, Pope Francis, will celebrate a Mass for Migrants, at 11:00 a.m., in St Peter’s Basilica, according to a statement released July 1, 2019, by Alessandro Gisotti, Interim Director of the Press Office.
Around 250 people will participate in the celebration, among whom will be migrants, refugees and those who are dedicated to saving their lives, Gisotti said.
Taking part in the Mass, presided over by the Pope at the Altar of the Chair of St Peter, will be only those persons invited by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, to whom the Holy Father has entrusted the organization of the event.
While Vatican Media will provide a live broadcast of the Mass, the presence of the press in the Basilica is not anticipated. The Holy Father desires that the moment be as recollected as possible in the remembrance of how many have lost their lives fleeing war and misery, and so as to encourage those who strive day after day to sustain, accompany and welcome migrants and refugees.
Pope Francis made an emotional plea for the world to help refugees during his homily at Mass in Lampedusa on July 8, 2013:
“Lord, in this liturgy, a penitential liturgy, we beg forgiveness for our indifference to so many of our brothers and sisters. Father, we ask your pardon for those who are complacent and closed amid comforts which have deadened their hearts; we beg your forgiveness for those who by their decisions on the global level have created situations that lead to these tragedies. Forgive us, Lord!”
The Holy Father also challenged world leaders to address the refugee crisis in his for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2019, to be held this coming September 29, on the theme: “It is not just about migrants”.
“Dear brothers and sisters, our response to the challenges posed by contemporary migration can be summed up in four verbs: welcome, protect, promote and integrate,” the Pope said in his letter, released May 27, 2019. “Yet these verbs do not apply only to migrants and refugees. They describe the Church’s mission to all those living in the existential peripheries, who need to be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated. If we put those four verbs into practice, we will help build the city of God and man. We will promote the integral human development of all people. We will help the world community to come closer to the goals of sustainable development that it has set for itself and that, lacking such an approach, will prove difficult to achieve.”