After completing his visit to Greek Island Lesbos, Pope Francis has taken 12 Syrian refugees to Rome, along with himself.
The Pontiff’ visit to the Greek island started on Saturday April, 16. Pope Francis, during his visit went to the Moria Refugee camp. At the same time, the Pontiff also met with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Archbishop Ieronymos II, leaders of Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.
The Christian leaders laid great emphasis on the requirement of compassionately addressing the escalating issue of the increasing migrant populations including refugees in the camps and those pouring into Europe. “We have come to call the attention of the world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to plead for its resolution,” Pope Francis said during his visit to the Moria Camp.
At this occasion, the Pontiff further said, “We Christians love to tell the story of the Good Samaritan, a foreigner who saw a man in need and immediately stopped to help. For us, it is a story about God’s mercy which is meant for everyone, for God is the All-Merciful. It is also a summons to show that same mercy to those in need. May all our brothers and sisters on this continent, like the Good Samaritan, come to your aid in the spirit of fraternity, solidarity and respect for human dignity that has distinguished its long history.”
Afterwards, Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Archbishop Ieronymos II, prayed for numerous migrants including men, women and children who had passed away, while attempting to reach Europe via incredibly dangerous journey through Aegean Sea. The three leaders observed a minute of silence commemorating those who has lost lives attempting this journey; afterwards Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Archbishop Ieronymos II, each threw floral wreath into the Aegean sea in remembrance of those lives lost.
While towards the end of his visit, Pope Francis met three refugee families, on the runway. He decided to take them along and had them aboard in his Papal plane for the return trip to Rome. The three refugee families which flew with the Pontiff included 12 people in all, 6 adults and 6 children.
Sant’Egidio- a catholic charitable organization in Rome will be helping these refugee families and providing them food and lodging. On the other hand, the Vatican announced in a published statement, that all of the members of the three refugee families are Muslim. Further, it has been stated that these refugee families come from Syria; a region tattered by the terror group ISIS.