Pope prays for migrants, refugees seeking a better life

January 17, 2012

VATICAN CITY –The millions of refugees and migrants in the world are not numbers but people in search of a better life for themselves and their families, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“They are men and women, young and old, who are looking for a place they can live in peace,” the pope said Jan. 15, which the Vatican marked as the World Day for Migrants and Refugees.

The pope welcomed migrants living in Rome to his recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square and told the thousands of people gathered for the midday prayer that migrants and refugees are not only recipients of the church’s outreach, but also can be agents of evangelization in their new communities.

In his main Angelus address, Pope Benedict spoke about the day’s Scripture readings at Mass and how Samuel in the Hebrew Bible and Simon and Andrew, James and John in the New Testament recognized the Lord’s call with the help of a wise guide.

“I would like to underline the decisive role of a spiritual guide in the faith journey and, in particular, in responding to the vocation of special consecration in the service of God and his people,” the pope said.

“The call to follow Jesus more closely, to give up forming one’s own family in order to dedicate oneself to the larger family of the church, normally passes through the witness and suggestion of a ‘big brother,’ usually a priest,” he said.

The role of parents, “who with their genuine and joyful faith and their conjugal love demonstrate to their children that it is beautiful and possible to build your entire life on the love of God,” also prepares young people to hear the call to priesthood and religious life, he said.


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