“May the Christian communities allow themselves to be evangelized by these brothers and sisters affected by leprosy”

Pope Francis' Message to participants at the 2nd International Symposium on Hansen's disease, until 24 January in the Vatican

“Convinced of the human family’s vocation to fraternity, let us allow ourselves to be challenged and to be asked: «Will we bend down to touch and heal the wounds of others? Will we bend down and help another to get up? »”. The Holy Father quotes the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti (Ft, 70) in his Message to the II Symposium on Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, which takes place today and tomorrow at the Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome.

The event, on the theme "Leave No One Behind", is promoted by the Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) Initiative, the Raoul Follereau Foundation and AIFO - Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau, with the collaboration of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and is being held just a few days before the 70th World Leprosy Day, on 29 January next.

For the Dicastery, the Secretary, Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, offered her Opening Remarks: "Becoming neighbour, as in the example of the Good Samaritan, who does not turn his face away but stops and bends over the suffering person must always guide our way of acting and mark our path". "It is only by welcoming, accompanying, supporting and including - Sr. Smerilli noted - that we can build a more equitable, just and inclusive society that tends towards the common good and love of neighbour, so that no one is left behind".

During the event, a Global Appeal is scheduled to be signed to draw attention to the stigma and discrimination afflicting people affected by leprosy.


For further information please visit the link dedicated to the initiative HERE .



19 January 2023