“Peace to all people and all nations on earth! Peace, that the angels announced to the shepherds on Christmas night, is the profound aspiration of all individuals and all peoples, especially those who most acutely suffer from the lack of it. Of these, which I keep in my thoughts and prayers, I want once again to remember the over 250 million migrants throughout the world, 22.5 million of whom are refugees.
My beloved predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, described them as ‘men and women, children, the young and elderly who are seeking a place where they can live in peace. To find it, many of them are prepared to risk their life on journeys, the majority of which are long and dangerous, to endure fatigue and suffering, to encounter fences and walls designed to keep them far away from their destination”. This was the message delivered by Pope Francis for the celebration of the 51st International Day of Peace.
“In a spirit of compassion, let us embrace all those who are fleeing from war and hunger, who are forced to leave their homelands because of discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental deterioration. We know that it is not enough to open up our hearts to the suffering of others. There is still a lot to do before our brothers and sisters can once again live in peace in a house that is safe.
Welcoming others requires a concrete commitment, a system of help and goodwill, vigilant and sympathetic attention, the responsible handling of new and complex situations which, at times, are added to the many other problems that already exist in addition to resources that are always limited. By practising the virtue of prudence and taking practical measures, government bodies will be able to welcome, promote, protect, integrate and, within the limits permitted by the correct understanding of the common good, ensure that insertion takes place».