17 April 2016 | Regina Caeli


Saint Peter's Square

After the Regina Caeli:


Dear brothers and sisters, I thank those who accompanied in prayer the visit that I made yesterday to the island of Lesvos, Greece. I brought the Church’s solidarity to the refugees and to the people of Greece. With me were Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, signifying unity in the charity of all the Lord’s disciples. We visited the camps of refugees who have come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Africa, from many countries… We greeted approximately 300 of these refugees, one by one, all three of us: Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Ieronymos and myself. Many of them were children, some of them — these children — witnessed the death of their parents, companions, some of whom had drowned in the sea. They have seen so much pain! And I want to speak of a special individual: a man, not 40 years of age. I met him yesterday with his two children. He is Muslim and was married to a young Christian woman. They loved and respected each other. However unfortunately the young woman was beheaded by terrorists because she did not want to renounce Christ and abandon her faith. She is a martyr! And this man wept so much…. […]