It's not a typical scene one sees in the Vatican. More than 600 Italian servicemen and women, had an audience with Pope Francis. Families and loved ones of fallen officers were also there. The Pope thanked the group for their testimony of hope, faith and for the work they carry out day after day .
"Your mission requires the valor of helping those in need and in stopping the aggressor.”
Pope Francis then reiterated that their role has been key in helping immigrants who reach the Italian coast, fleeing from poverty, war and persecution.
"You are first in line when reaching out to immigrants and also when it comes to dealing with scammers. Through this service you set yourselves apart with your spirit of service and your humanity. Even before meeting laws and regulations, your moral reaction of doing good, and to save the greatest number of people comes in. In doing so, you fully dedicate your time and energy.”
Their mission of guaranteeing order and security isn't easy. That's why Pope Francis reminded them that they should be proud of their work.
"Be proud of your work and continue to serve the State, its citizens and those who are in danger.”
After his speech, Pope Francis personally greeted members of the Italian police force, including families who lost a loved ones while carrying out their service.