Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – After the general audience today, Pope Francis appealed to eradicate the scourge of trafficking, with these words: “Today we celebrate the Day of prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, this year dedicated in particular to children and adolescents. I encourage all those who in various ways help minors who have been enslaved and abused to be freed from this terrible oppression. I urge all those in government positions to combat this scourge with firmness, giving voice to our younger brothers and sisters who have been wounded in their dignity. All efforts must be made to eradicate this shameful and intolerable crime”.
The Pope then recalled that the Day falls on the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakita: “This enslaved, exploited and humiliated girl in Africa never lost hope, but persevered in her faith and ended up as a migrant in Europe where she heard the call of the Lord and became a nun. Let us pray to Saint Josephine Bakita for all migrants and refugees who are exploited and suffer so much”.
The Pope continued: “And speaking of migrants chased away, exploited, I would like to pray with you today in a special way for our Rohinya brothers and sisters: chased away from Myanmar, they go from one side to another because they are not wanted … They are good, peaceful people. They are not Christians, they are good, they are our brothers and sisters! They have been suffering for years. They were tortured, killed, simply because they continue their traditions, their Muslim faith. Let us pray for them. I invite you to pray our Father who is in heaven for them, all together, for our Rohinya brothers and sisters. Our father…. Saint Josephine Bakhita – pray for us. And a round of applause for St Josephine Bakhita!”. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 08/02/2017)