26 October 2016 | General Audience


St Peter's Square

[…] Today let us concentrate on these words of Jesus: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me” (Mt 25:35-36). In our time, charitable action regarding foreigners is more relevant than ever. The economic crisis, armed conflicts and climate change force many people to emigrate. However, migration is not a new phenomenon, it is part of the history of humanity. It is a lack of historical memory to think that this phenomenon has only arisen in recent years. […]

Over the course of the centuries we have witnessed, in this regard, great expressions of solidarity, although there has been no lack of social tension. Today, the context of the economic crisis unfortunately fosters the emergence of attitudes of closure and not of welcome. In some parts of the world walls and barriers are going up. At times it seems that the silent work of so many men and women who, in various ways, do all they can to help and assist the refugees and migrants, is obscured by the clamour of others who give voice to an instinctive selfishness. However, closure is not a solution, but instead it ends up fostering criminal trafficking. The only way to a solution is that of solidarity. Solidarity with the migrant, solidarity with the foreigner… […]


Today too we need these witnesses so that mercy may reach the many who are in need. It is a commitment that involves everyone, without exception. We all, dioceses, parishes, institutes of consecrated life, associations and movements, as individual Christians, are called to welcome our brothers and sisters who are fleeing from war, from hunger, from violence and from inhuman living conditions. All together we are a great supportive force for those who have lost their homeland, family, work and dignity. […]