Pope Francis: Let us not be indifferent to shipwrecked people who arrive on our coasts

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The pope stopped to greet several pilgrims before his first General Audience of 2020. He accepted a drink of mate and blessed many of those present, including people celebrating birthdays, like this little boy.

It's his birthday.

His name is Massimo.

During the catechesis, he recalled the episode from Acts of the Apostles in which the boat in which St. Paul was travelling sank. The shipwrecked made it to Malta. There, the inhabitants took care of them.

Pope Francis emphasized three points. First, that St. Paul didn't lose his faith despite the hardships. Second, that God used that faith to perform a miracle, allowing St. Paul to survive a viper bite. Lastly, the pope underlined the hospitality of the people of Malta.

The Maltese people are good, kind, welcoming. In those days, history says since that time, there have been no vipers in Malta. It was the blessing of God for the hospitality of such good people.

Pope Francis commented with admiration on St. Paul's faith in God. He was never discouraged in front of the difficulties he faced.

He said his behavior and that of the people of Malta, who welcomed the shipwrecked travelers, are examples to follow.

May the Lord help us live each trial sustained by faith. May he open our hearts to those who, in history, experience shipwreck and arrive on our shores. May they find in us that fraternal love born of our saving encounter with Jesus Christ. This is what saves from the ice of indifference and inhumanity.

The audience ended on a high note with a performance by the Aqua Circus. They tell a story of fighting contamination of the planet's oceans.

Javier Romero
Translation: Claudia Torres

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