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Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass for refugees and migrants on Monday


Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass with refugees, migrants and volunteers on Monday at 11 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica. It marks the sixth anniversary since the pope's trip to Lampedusa. 

During his trip to this island, Pope Francis denounced the “globalization of indifference.” It is a theme he has repeated in his recent video message to prepare for the next World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on Sept. 29.

POPE FRANCIS
It is not just about migrants. It is a question of seeing that no one is excluded. Today’s world is increasingly becoming more elitist and cruel toward the excluded.

The pope has traveled to some of the central points of the migration crisis. When leaving Lesbos, he took a group of refugee families back to the Vatican. He also prayed for migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border; and visited Myanmar, to embrace the Rohingya community who have been forced to flee to neighboring countries. 

Pope Francis keeps calling for common ground.

POPE FRANCIS
Go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the stranger.

Far from being resolved, the migration crisis is worsening in some parts of the world. For example, in Europe, countries like Italy or Spain are preventing NGOs like “Sea Watch” or “Open Arms” from rescuing refugees adrift in the Mediterranean.

GIORGIA LINARDI
Sea Watch
“We appreciate the position taken in the past by the pope in regard to respect and defense of migrants and refugees.”
“At the moment, we believe, unfortunately, any person who protects what has to be defended, who fulfills their duty and who contributes to the rule of law, has to be courageous.”

Monday's Mass will not be open to the public. It is a celebration the pope wants to devote exclusively to migrants, refugees, volunteers and lifeguards. 

In total, 250 people will participate in the liturgical ceremony.