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Rome Reports

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Seven years since Pope Francis' iconic first papal trip

It's been seven years since Pope Francis' first trip as pontiff. On the small island of Lampedusa, off the coast of southern Italy, he began his campaign against the “culture of indifference,” remembering refugees who have drowned while trying to reach Europe.

There the pope celebrated Mass at an altar set up on the boat on which a group of migrants attempted to flee northern Africa in search of a better future.

That day, Pope Francis wore purple vestments because he wanted it to be a penitential ceremony, to ask God for forgiveness for the drama experienced by all illegal migrants.

July 8, 2013
“Lord, we ask forgiveness, for those who, with their laws and decisions, have created situations that have led to these tragedies. Forgive us, Lord.”

There the pope spoke out against the culture of indifference and also proposed attending to the needs of migrants. Both have been central themes of his pontificate. That's why, although he's on vacation, he will celebrate the anniversary of his symbolic visit with a Mass in the chapel at Casa Santa Marta.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: CT