Migrants at the heart of Pope Francis' prayers

Migrants at the heart of Pope Francis' prayers

The Church's pastoral accompaniment of migrants and refugees is one of the priority thematic areas entrusted to the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which promotes the call of Pope Francis to give a concrete response to this challenge.

In this regard, this Vatican Dicastery accompanies the local churches and the different ecclesial realities that carry out the work of welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and promotes various advocacy initiatives in this area.  

For this reason, a delegation of this Vatican Dicastery participated on October 19 in the emotive moment of prayer presided over by Pope Francis together with the members of the Synod held in St. Peter's Square, an occasion in which the Pope invited those present and the whole world to pray for all those who have lost their lives along the various migratory routes.

In his speech Pope Francis commented on the parable of the Good Samaritan and placed the encyclical Fratelli tutti at the center as a key to read in order to respond to the call of the Gospel and "make ourselves neighbor to all the wayfarers of our time, to save their lives, to heal their wounds, and to soothe their pain".

The Holy Father also highlighted the danger of these migratory journeys and the risks that many people run on the routes having to cross deserts, forests, rivers and seas.

"We must strive to make the road safer, so that today's travelers do not fall victim to bandits. It is necessary to multiply efforts to combat criminal networks, which speculate on the dreams of migrants. But it is equally necessary to point out safer roads. To this end, efforts must be made to expand the regular channels of migration," asked the Pope.

Finally, Francis acknowledged that "in the current world scenario, it is evident how necessary it is to bring demographic and economic policies into dialogue with migration policies for the benefit of all those involved, without ever forgetting to put the most vulnerable at the center."


Io capitano

Days before, DPIHD organized a screening of the film Io Capitano by Italian director Matteo Garrone which depicts one of these journeys. The film shows some of the risks people run when migrating. At the end of the screening, a dialogue was held on such issues, and Pope Francis' recent Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2023 "free to choose whether to migrate or to stay" was recalled.

Among those attending the initiative, there were also some migrants and refugees who lived similar stories to those told in the film, so they were also able to share their experiences after watching the film.


20 October 2023