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Pope to meet with families of innocent mafia victims

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will preside a prayer vigil organized by the Libera Foundation, on 21 March, with family members of innocent victims of the mafia. The vigil will be held in Rome at the Church of San Gregorio VII, on the evening before the national memorial day for innocent victims killed by the mafia.

The event will gather 700 family members of these victims from across Italy; they represent about 15,000 people who have suffered the loss of a loved one to mafia violence. The prayer vigil is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and to conclude at 7.

“For the families of innocent victims, this meeting with the Pope is a gift,” said Fr Luigi Ciotti, Libera Foundation president. “The availability of the Pope to accompany these family members in this moment, laden with suffering but also marked by hope, is a sign of attention and sensitivity, which they seized from the first moment. An attention to our fragile and wounded humanity. But also attention to the specific issue of the mafia, of corruption, of the many forms of injustice that deny human rights.”

The foundation has organized a demonstration the following day in the Italian city of Latina, which includes workshops for participants on civic action against the mafia.

Report by Laura Ieraci