Hong Kong Pilgrims in Rome: We asked the pope for prayers to overcome difficulties
Relations between China and Hong Kong are intense at the moment. The Hong Kong government is pushing a law that would allow detainees to be deported to mainland China. This has led to strong protests on the island.
While this is taking place, a group of pilgrims have traveled to Rome to see the pope up-close and pray for their country.
“Indeed, it is very very important for us. This is because now we are facing difficulties in Hong Kong with the politics. We hope, through his intercession, his prayers, he can help us to pass through these difficulties. We need prayers, we really, really need prayers urgently.”
The majority have traveled from Hong Kong, bringing with them both their country's and China's flag as a sign of unity.
They arrived early at St. Peter's Square to get a good place to see the pope and to avoid the crowds of pilgrims.
“He gave us his blessings and prayers. He also did this to us with a big smile and very peaceful hands like this. We all felt very very touched.”
“Pope Francis, we love him! Pope Francis is doing so many things, especially in building relations with China. I think he is a very wholehearted pope. We hope in the future, China and Hong Kong, or even the Vatican, will have a really good relationship. So our Catholic people are more free and have more rights to come here also.”
After seeing the pope and praying with him, they hope to return to their country with more optimism to confront the difficulties their country is going through.