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» 07/08/2013
VATICAN - ITALY
Pope: in Lampedusa, "Let us pray for those who are here and those that there are not"
First trip by Francis dedicated to the "gate of Europe", which for years has welcomed thousands of migrants. A wreath of flowers thrown into the sea for the many, perhaps 20,000, who have lost their lives during the "journey of hope". A young migrant: "To get here we have suffered so much. We would like help from our Holy Father, we want other countries to help us."

Lampedusa (AsiaNews) - A wreath of white and yellow flowers and a prayer in remembrance of the many, an estimated 20,000, who have lost their lives during the "journey of hope" of immigrants towards Europe. Thus began Pope Francis' first trip outside Rome, and also the first trip by a pope to Lampedusa, the "gateway to Europe" which for years has welcomed thousands of migrants. The peak in numbers occurred between March and April 2011, when there were 6,500 immigrants on an island of about 6,000 inhabitants. Even today, a boat arrived at dawn with 166 foreigners.

The son of Italian immigrants in Argentina, Pope Francis arrived in Lampedusa - 20 square kilometres, at a latitude further south than Tunis and Algiers, 113 kilometres from the African coast of Tunisia and 127 from the coastlines of Europe and Italy - shortly after 9:00 am. In Cala Pisana he embarked on a patrol boat (pictured) of the Coast Guard, accompanied by a hundred fishing boats, and arrived off the coast of Cala Maluk, where a shipwreck once occurred, and threw the wreath overboard.

A moment of prayer before the arrival at Favarolo pier, where the immigrants arrive. On the pier were 100 of the 125 immigrants present at the welcome center of the Imbriacola district. They were are almost all young: the two youngest immigrants were 13 years old. Francis greeted them one by one, asking questions, listening. "Welcome among the last ones" read one banner, which somehow explained the reason for the visit by a Pope who invites people to "go out toward the outskirts." "Thank you", said Francis on the pier. "All together", he added, "today we will pray for each other and also for those who are not here today." A young man translated into Arabic. "Come and talk", Francis beckoned to him. "We want you to help our problem", said the young man. "We have fled from our country, to get to this place we have overcome various obstacles; we were kidnapped. To get here we have suffered so much. We would like help from our Holy Father, we want other countries to help us. Thank you for your cooperation, we thank God. We are here, forced to remain in Italy: we want other European countries to help us".

It was almost a private visit. The Pope made it known that he did not want the presence of the authorities. He was thus welcomed and accompanied only by the Mayor, Giusy Nicolini, and the Archbishop of Agrigento, Mons. Francesco Montenegro. Even the car he is travelling in is "private": a white "Campagnola", owned by a Milan resident who has visited the island for 20 years.

It is thus that he will arrive at the Arena sports field, where he will celebrate the Mass. The "boat cemetery" is clearly visible, where hundreds of the vessels are stacked that have arrived here.

The altar, too, is made from a boat and even the chalice and the pastoral cross were made from wood of the 'ships of hope'.

 

 


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See also
07/08/2013 VATICAN - ITALY
Pope: in Lampedusa, let us ask for forgiveness for the indifference towards those who suffer, and those who create the situations behind the tragedies of emigration
07/01/2013 VATICAN
Pope: Friday release for "Lumen fidei", the "four hand" encyclical
10/04/2013 VATICAN - ITALY
Pope in Assisi: May the Middle East and the world find the peace of the "real "St. Francis
07/05/2014 VATICAN - ITALY
Pope in Molise: overcome the "culture of the provisional" to be truly free
07/05/2014 VATICAN-ITALY
Pope in Molise: Witness to charity, high road of evangelization

Editor's choices
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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