St. Peter's Basilica held a special liturgical ceremony to welcome migrants, refugees and volunteers. The pope himself celebrated the Mass.
Pope Francis remained somber throughout the ceremony. During the homily, he almost cried when reflecting on the suffering migrants and refugees endure for being the “least ones.”
These least ones are abandoned and cheated into dying in the desert. These least ones are tortured, abused and violated in detention camps. These least ones face the waves of an unforgiving sea. These least ones are left in reception camps too long for them to be called temporary. These are only some of the least ones who Jesus asks us to love and raise up.
Pope Francis did not analzye the political decisions taken in regard to the migration crisis. However, he asked this human drama not to be overlooked and minimized.
They are persons. These are not mere social or migrant issues! 'This is not just about migrants,' in the twofold sense that migrants are, first of all, human persons. They are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society.
The UN has reported since World War II, never has there been such a great number of displacements around the world. It is estimated more than 70 million people are fleeing their homes because of hunger, misery and war.
At the end of Mass, Pope Francis greeted all the participants who attended the ceremony one-by-one, around 250 people in total.