Getting to personally know a refugee can wipe away fears and dismantle distorted ideologies. This was the message Pope Francis conveyed yesterday to highlight world Refugee Day, which is observed on June 20th.
After praying the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square Sunday morning, the Pope asked that: "concrete attention go to the women, men and children fleeing from conflict, violence and persecution” and, that we all pray for all those who lost their lives in their attempt to flee for their lives. "Their stories of heartache and hope can become opportunities to come together and truly know each other," the pope said. "In fact, personally meeting with refugees dispels fears and distorted ideologies and becomes a way for people to grow in their humanity as they learn to make room for an attitude of openness.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported earlier today that 1 person becomes displaced every 3 seconds and, 2016 saw the highest number of refugees ever on record. At the end of 2016, more than 40 million people were displaced within their own country, over 22 million were refugees and almost 3 million people were seeking asylum. Half of all refugees, the report said, are children under the age of 18.
Here in Canada, the Salt and Light team is on location in Quebec City at the 2017 Catholic Press Association
’s Media Conference and the Signis World Conference. Leaders in the field of Catholic communications are gathered to engage in dialogue under the theme: Promoting Stories of Hope. Sebastian Gomes had a chance to talk to the Vice-President of SIGNIS
Europe, Magali Van Reeth
, and ask her about their mission, why they chose the theme: Promoting Stories of Hope
and what she is most looking forward to this week. Now, I will bring you more from the event over the next few days so stay tuned. But if you are interested in getting a peak now at what is going on, you may visit our website
In other news today, the press office of the Salesians announced late last week that Italian police recovered the relic of St. John Bosco which was stolen on June 2nd from the Basilica of John Bosco in Turin. It was found inside a copper teapot in the kitchen in the home of a 42-year-old Italian man who is now in police custody. Apparently, the man's fingerprints were on file, and were found on the glass case protecting the reliquary at the Basilica.The relic itself was still in its glass jar with the seal of authenticity still intact.
It appears that the motive for the theft had nothing to do with a desire for a ransom or for a collector, the police said in a statement. Apparently, the thief simply believed the gold-painted reliquary over the glass jar was worth a lot of money.
That's all for today. Im Noel Ocol.