Pope Francis' visit with a group of refugees at the Sacred Heart parish can best be described as simple, warm, and relaxed.
"Thank you. Because by welcoming everyone as family, you make anyone that comes in feel like family. Today I am here and I feel at home, like family. Thank you very much. But I am missing one thing: Mariana hasn't offered me any mate.”
To get to Italy, many of the refugees had to endure many hardships, even the loss of friends and family. Pope Francis said that to lighten the weight of their suffering, they should share their pain among one another, helping and encouraging each other despite any differences in beliefs.
"Sharing our experience in carrying that cross, to expel the illness within our hearts, which embitters our life: it is important that you do this in your meetings. Those that are Christian, with the Bible, and those that are Muslim, with the Quran. The faith that your parents instilled in you will always help you move on.”
In addition to meeting with refugees, the Pope also met with the homeless that depend on the parish for help.
"Hold on to hope. Hope never lets down. Never! True hope. And thank you very much for helping each other, for this friendship in helping each other to move forward in life.”
Pope Francis' visit marked the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The Parish is close Rome's central train station, Termini. That's the starting point for many people arriving at the Eternal City, in search of a better life.