Forced like Jesus Christ to flee

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This Sunday, September 27, the Church celebrates the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The theme chosen by the Holy Father for his Message for this day is “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee”.

Pope Francis writes: I have decided to devote this Message to the drama of internally displaced persons, an often unseen tragedy that the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated. […] During the flight into Egypt, the child Jesus experienced with his parents the tragic fate of the displaced and refugees, which is marked by fear, uncertainty, and unease (cf. Mt 2:13-15, 19-23). Unfortunately, in our own times, millions of families can identify with this sad reality.

Pope Francis calls us to respond to this pastoral challenge, and he recalls four verbs he indicated in his Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees Day in 2018 to point out the steps that should be taken: welcome, protect, promote and integrate. This year the Pope adds another six pairs of verbs that deal with very practical actions and are linked together in a relationship of cause and effect:

  • You have to know in order to understand.
  • It is necessary to be close in order to serve.
  • In order to be reconciled, we need to listen.
  • In order to grow, it is necessary to share.
  • We need to be involved in order to promote.
  • It is necessary to cooperate in order to build.

In the conclusion of his message, Pope Francis underlines that to preserve our common home and make it conform more and more to God’s original plan, we must commit ourselves to ensure international cooperation, global solidarity, and local commitment, leaving no one excluded.

Read the complete text of Pope Francis’ Message for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee.”

Visit the special Vatican webpage MIGRANTS & REFUGEES to find a wide array of resources in 5 languages, offered to help us to celebrate the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

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