Pope asks prayers for those fleeing their own countries

“For those fleeing their own countries” is Pope Francis’s prayer intention in The Pope Video for June, which is distributed by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
The video message, produced in collaboration with Tele VID and with the support of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is a story about the borders in various parts of the world.
Scenes show suffering faces, walking feet, bags filled with the little someone managed to take from home. But there are also scenes showing gestures of solidarity, hugs, welcome projects.
The Pope reminds Christians that “whoever welcomes a migrant welcomes Christ”.In today’s society, even in nations that call themselves Christian, this seems to be a forgotten concept. In fact, today, Pope Francis criticises that “in some destination countries, migrants are viewed as threats, with fear,” which gives rise to the “spectre of walls – walls on the earth separating families, and walls in hearts”. But Christians, the Pope states, “cannot share this vision”.

Fleeing and uprooted

In recent years, the number of people who have been displaced has exceeded that during the Second World War. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2023 there were 110m people forcefully displaced throughout the world. In this contest, Pope Francis asks that migrants be accompanied, promoted and integrated.
“The feeling of uprootedness or not knowing where they belong often accompanies the trauma experienced by people who are forced to flee their homeland because of war or poverty,” the Pope laments at the beginning of the video launched in the month in which the United Nations commemorates World Refugee Day (June 20).
This is the reason he asks that “we promote a social and political culture that protects the rights and dignity of migrants, a culture that promotes the possibility that they can achieve their full potential”.

A global nation

The topic of migrants and refugees has concerned the Pope since the beginning of his pontificate. In the apostolic exortation Evangelii Gaudium (2013), he said: “Migrants present a particular challenge for me, since I am the pastor of a Church without frontiers, a Church which considers herself mother to all.
“For this reason, I exhort all countries to a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of local identity, will prove capable of creating new forms of cultural synthesis.”
A few years later, in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti (2020), he invited us to have “a heart open to the whole world” and to respect “the right of all individuals to find a place […] where they can find personal fulfilment.”
It also underlines the need to develop a “culture of encounter” in which there are points of contact, bridges and that the planning of projects include everyone.
In this context, the video renews the Pope’s request to not be indifferent to the migration crisis.

God walks with his people

Consistent with the intention of this video message, each year since 1914, the Church invites us to pray for migrants on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. “God walks with his People” is the theme chosen for the day in 2024 which will be held on September 29. 

Cardinal Michael Czerny, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the World Day organiser, reflects, “Pope Francis reminds us that ‘God walks with his people.’ The Holy Family had to take refuge in a foreign land because Baby Jesus’s life was in danger.
“All of us are invited to welcome, protect, promote and integrate any person who has fled their homeland to save their lives or who are searching for a dignified future.
“By protecting the rights of migrants, the integral human development of every person is promoted and communities that welcome them are enriched in multiple ways.”

The Pope Video is possible thanks to the generous contributions of many people. You can donate by following this link.

Where can the video be seen?

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The Pope on Twitter/X Verified @Pontifex
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