Pope Francis prays for migrants “forced to flee their homes like Jesus”

Pope Francis St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, January 1, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Pope Francis today dedicated World Immigrant and Refugee Day to pray for these people who resemble Jesus, because, like him, they will be forced to flee their homes.

Today is the 106th Sunday that is being dedicated to immigrants and refugees. This day is celebrated every year on the last Sunday in September.

Addressing the people who gathered at the Vatican for the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis said he has a special message for immigrants and refugees in St. Peter’s Square today. He told them that he is praying for them and for all those who help them.

This summer, Pope Francis compared the places where immigrants are held in Libya to concentration camps.

In Malta, Archbishop Charles Scicluna also marked this day with a mass celebrated at the Parish Church of the Annunciation in Balzan. This mass was attended by immigrants living in Malta and who are being assisted by the Emigrant Commission, which on behalf of the Church in Malta offers accommodation to about 400 people. The Commission works to ensure that these people are welcomed, helped and integrated into society.

In his homily, Mons. Scicluna referred to the way Maltese people talk about immigrants, which he said is sometimes too harsh. He reminded the Maltese that they should welcome immigrants and not tolerate or support them.