After the Angelus, Pope Francis prayed for an end to the current humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
For half a year its population has been ravaged by war, and now it is preparing for a famine that the UN says will be the worst recorded in a single country in the last decade. More than 30,000 affected by the crisis are children.
“Today there is famine; there is hunger. Let us pray together that the violence may cease immediately, that food and heath assistance be guaranteed to everyone, and that social harmony be restored as soon as possible.”
He then recalled that Saturday was World Day Against Child Labor.
He said child labor is a tragedy that currently affects over 150 million children throughout the world.
“It is a tragedy! 150 million. Almost the populations of Spain, France and Italy combined. This is happening today! We cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering of children, deprived of their right to play, to study, and to dream.”
The Pope also addressed the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. He noted that the remains of a terrible shipwreck from 2015 were going to be exposed that afternoon in Sicily. It claimed the lives of hundreds of refugees and migrants.
“May this symbol of so many tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea continue to challenge everyone’s conscience and foster the growth of a more supportive humanity that tears down the wall of indifference. Just think, the Mediterranean has become Europe’s largest cemetery.”
Before the Angelus the Pope preached about the day's Gospel readings, and said that Christians must not dwell on their failures but put their whole faith in God.