After the recitation of the Marian prayer on Sunday in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the people of Portugal following devastating forest fires in the Pedrógão Grande area, south-east of Coimbra, which have killed and injured numerous people.
The Holy Father also recalled that on Tuesday 20 June World Refugee Day promoted by the United Nations will be observed and has as its theme “With Refugees”.
The Pope said that “today more than ever we have to support refugees. “We remember those, women, men, and children Pope Francis added, fleeing conflicts, violence and persecution and those who have lost their lives in the sea or in extravagant land trips.
Their stories of pain and hope, underlined the Holy Father, “can become opportunities for fraternal encounter and true mutual knowledge. Indeed, he said, personal encounter with refugees dissipates distorted fears and ideologies, and becomes a growth factor in humanity, capable of giving space to feelings of openness and building bridges.”