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Rome Reports

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Pope meets with families of piracy victims

"I pray for their families to be strong in faith and to not lose hope in meeting soon with their loved ones". ;

After the Angelus, the Pope met privately with some of the family members of those who are being held captive by pirates. Currently there are more than 800 hostages. Last year there was a record high of 445 attacks, 53 ships were held hostage and 1181 sailors were kidnapped. Modern piracy has become so serious, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants will hold a conference to analyze the issue in 2012. In the Angelus, the Pope also talked about the feast of St. Benedict, patron saint of Europe. The Pope said that saint in particular, is a great example of how one should listen to the Gospel. Benedict XVI "We must learn from the great patriarch of western monasticism to give God His rightful place-the first place. Offering prayer in the morning, afternoon and even in daily activities.” Benedict XVI noted that all Christians must learn from this saint, by choosing God above everything else. CB/KLHCTVJMBN