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Pope Francis has made the fight for the rights of migrants and refugees one of the focal points of his pontificate. “When we show concern for them – stated the Pope - we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays”.
In his homily, the Pope reminded us “it is not just about migrants”. “Loving our neighbour means being firmly committed to building a more just world, in which everyone has access to the goods of the earth, in which all can develop as individuals and as families, and in which fundamental rights and dignity are guaranteed to all”, he said.
Following the celebration of Mass, Pope Francis unveiled a sculpture entitled “Angels Unawares”, a life-size sculpture in bronze and clay that depicts a group of migrants and refugees from different cultural and racial backgrounds and from diverse historic periods in time.
The Migrants and Refugees Section of the Holy See is carrying out a communication campaign entitled “It is not just about migrants” that includes reflections, materials and photo and video resources for the promotion of pastoral activities on the themes of the WDMR.
The campaign is divided into the following sub-themes: “It’s also about our fears”, “It’s also about charity”, ”It’s also about our humanity”, “It’s about not excluding anyone”, “It’s about putting the last in first place” and “It's about the whole person and about all people”.
The first World Day of Migrants and Refugees was celebrated in 1914. Since then, this annual commemoration has become an opportunity to express concern for vulnerable people on the move, and to pray for increased awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.
Read Pope Francis’ message in full here.