Vatican News
Students in southern Italy at a rally to commemorate victims of the mafia  Students in southern Italy at a rally to commemorate victims of the mafia   (ANSA)

Pope appeals to young people in Sicily to resist the call of the mafia

Pope Francis has marked St. Pope John Paul’s visit to the Sicilian town of Agrigento 25 years ago with an appeal to young people to resist the call of the mafia.

By Linda Bordoni

In a telegramme addressed to the Archbishop of Agrigento in Sicily on Wednesday evening, Pope Francis marked the 25th anniversary of Saint Pope John Paul II’s visit to the town of Agrigento where he denounced the mafia’s organized criminal activities and called on ‘mafiosi’ criminals to convert.

In his message the Pope recalled that St. John Paul II’s prophetic appeal came at the end of Holy Mass on 9 May 1993, celebrated in the famous archaeological site of the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, and said that he too, on this important anniversary, has an appeal for young people today to resist the call of organized crime.

On the day in which anti-mafia activists and ordinary citizens honour the 40th anniversary of the murder of anti-Mafia activist Peppino Impastato, Pope Francis encouraged the Church in Sicily and its flock to continue on the path set by the Blessed Father Pino Puglisi (who was killed by the mafia in Palermo in 1993 for his work to denounce mafia activities and to help people resist organized crime) saying that evil is to be fought, “gently and courageously as indicated by the Gospel, in everyday life”, and especially by teaching young people to do so.


10 May 2018, 12:00