VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Offering migrants and refugees truly helpful and loving hospitality is the greatest guarantee against terrorism, Pope Francis said.
The current refugee and migration crisis, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, has become “the greatest humanitarian crisis after the Second World War,” he said.
“At this place and time in history, there is great need for men and women who hear the cry of the poor and respond with mercy and generosity,” he told graduates of Jesuit schools and universities during an audience at the Vatican Sept. 17.
The alumni are members of the World Union and the European Confederation of Jesuit Alumni; they were in Rome taking part in a conference on the migration and refugee crisis.
The pope told them that with their Jesuit education and understanding of Gospel values, they can help the church “respond more fully to the human tragedy of refugees through acts of mercy that promote their integration into the European context and beyond.”
“I encourage you to welcome refugees into your homes and communities, so that their first experience of Europe is not the traumatic experience of sleeping cold on the streets, but one of warm human welcome,” he said.
“Remember that authentic hospitality is a profound Gospel value that nurtures love and is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism,” he added.
Too many refugee children and young people lack access to education, he said, urging the alumni to work with the Jesuit Refugee Service and “put your mercy in motion” to help “build a stronger Europe and a brighter future for refugees.”
He told his audience to remember they were not alone as many church organizations and individuals were also dedicated to helping the marginalized and excluded.
“Remember that the love of God accompanies you in this work. You are God’s eyes, mouth, hands and heart in this world.”
“I urge you to help transform your communities into places of welcome where all God’s children have the opportunity not simply to survive, but to grow, flourish and bear fruit,” he said.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103