(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday appealed to institutions to offer concrete help to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who continue to flee conflict and persecution in their homelands.
Speaking after his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope mentioned that on June 20 we mark World Refugee Day and said the number of our refugee brothers is on the increase as thousands more people are forced to leave their homes in these days in order to be saved. He recalled that Jesus himself was a refugee and asked for prayers for all those who are foced to flee from their land.
“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” he said.
And the Pope 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".
“May the Lord sustain those people and institutions” – Francis prayed – “who work with generosity to assure a welcome to refugees, recognise their dignity and give them reasons for hope”.
The Pope’s appeal came after his Wednesday catechesis which today – he said – begins a new cycle dedicated to the Church.
Please find below the English translation of the synopsis of Pope Francis’ catechesis:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today begins a new cycle of catecheses devoted to the Church. The Church is not simply an institution but a mother, a family, a mystery which is meant to embrace the whole human race. Founded by Jesus Christ, she traces her roots to the Old Testament, where God called Abraham to set off with his household for a new land and promised to make him the father of a vast people, in order to bring his blessing to all the nations of the earth. Significantly, it is God himself who takes the first step: he chooses Abraham and all his household to follow him in faith. The way God points out is not always clear, nor is the path free of obstacles, including the constant temptation to sin and infidelity. The history of God’s people, the Church, is thus one of God’s absolute fidelity, mercy and love; only by his unfailing aid can we overcome our sins and persevere in following the path he points out to us in Christ. Let us ask the Lord to sustain the Church on her journey of faith through history, to guide her to our heavenly homeland and to make her a blessing and a sign of God’s loving plan for all his children.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni...