Pope Francis expresses closeness to refugees and the homeless

By Vatican News, 12 September 2021
Pope Francis meets with refugees and homeless people gathered to view the film-documentary "Francesco" in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican. Image: Vatican News


Pope Francis brought joy and smiles to the faces of about 100 refugees and homeless people gathered at the atrium of the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican for a screening of the film-documentary entitled Francesco.

Pope Francis met briefly with approximately 100 homeless and migrant people invited to a screening of the film-documentary Francesco on Monday evening in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, according to a statement to journalists by Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office.

The screening was organized by the Laudato Si’ Foundation and the director of the film-documentary, Evgeny Afineevsky, who addressed a personal greeting to the audience, during which he recalled the migration of his own family, originally from Russia, to Israel and then to the United States.

Papal comfort for refugees

According to the statement, at the end of the projection of the film documentary, the Holy Father arrived at the atrium of the Paul VI Hall where he spoke to those gathered for the viewing.

Among those present were 20 people who had arrived from Afghanistan in recent weeks to whom the Pope “addressed words of affection and comfort,” the statement noted.

Of these Afghan refugees were four siblings between the ages of 14 – 20 who arrived in Italy thanks to the support of the Community of Sant’ Egidio. They have been placed in the care of an uncle who has been an immigrant for some years running. The siblings have had to leave their parents behind in refugee camps in Iran.

Bismillah, the oldest of the four, spoke to Vatican News about the importance of feeling welcomed, listened to, and understood by Pope Francis, and how the Holy Father’s presence gave them new hope to face the future.

After meeting with those gathered for the screening, Pope Francis returned home to the Casa Santa Marta.

With thanks to Vatican News, where this article originally appeared.


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