- Pope Francis renewed support for migrants saying they “are not dangerous, but in danger”
- He also recounted an emotional story of a young refugee girl who failed to make it to Europe
- The Pope has been one of the most outspoken advocates for migrants to Europe
As Pope Francis held an emotional meeting with hundreds of children, he renewed calls for compassion towards the thousands of migrants who make their way to Europe, saying that the migrants themselves “are not dangerous, but in danger.”
The Pope held a special audience comprised of children who mostly came from from southern Italy and took the train to the railway station in the Vatican itself.
Among those who the Holy Father met was a Nigerian boy named Osayande who was orphaned after both his parents died in a shipwreck and was later taken in by an Italian family.
The Pontiff became emotional as he held up an orange life jacket and told the audience the story of the young girl who drowned while wearing it. A Spanish rescue worker had given the life jacket to the Pope.
“He brought me this life jacket and, crying a little bit, he said: ‘Father, I failed. There was a little girl in the sea and I wasn’t able to save her. All I could reach was her life jacket.’ What was her name? I don’t know – a little girl without a name … She’s in heaven and watching us. Let’s close our eyes, think about her and give her a name,” the Pope recounted, as previously quoted by RT.
The same week Pope Francis held his meeting with the children, which included those who were migrants themselves, European authorities had rescued about 13,000 migrants while hundreds more reportedly perished from the dangerous crossing to get to the continent.
The Holy Father has been one of the most outspoken advocates in behalf of the migrants, even making a trip earlier this year to the Greek island of Lesbos which hosts scores of migrants, and then bringing 12 refugees back to Rome aboard his own plane.