Vatican City, 18 June 2014 (VIS) – After his greetings in various languages at today's general audience, the Holy Father mentioned that Friday 20 June will be World Day for Refugees, dedicated by the international community to those who are forced to leave their homelands to flee from conflict and persecution. “The number of our brethren who become refugees is increasing and, in recent days, thousands more people have had to leave their homes to save themselves. Millions of refugee families from many countries, of every religious faith, live through dramatic and painful events from which it is difficult for them to recover and heal. Let us be close to them, sharing their fears and uncertainty for the future, and alleviating their suffering in a concrete way. May the Lord support those people and institutions who work generously to guarantee welcome and dignity for refugees, and to give them reasons for hope”.
“We think that Jesus was a refugee, who had to flee for His life, with St. Joseph and the Virgin”, remarked the Pope. “He went to Egypt as a refugee”. The Holy Father concluded by asking the faithful to pray a Hail Mary for the Virgin “who knows the suffering of refugees”.