By Lydia O'Kane
Pope Francis during the Sunday Angelus said he had two sorrows in his heart: Colombia and the Mediterranean. He said, "I'm thinking of the 170 shipwrecked victims in the Mediterranean. They were looking for a future for their lives. Victims, perhaps, of human traffickers. We pray for them and for those responsible for what has happened." The UNHCR says there were two separate Mediterranean shipwrecks. The first boat reportedly disappeared with 53 people on board at the western end of the Mediterranean, while the second sank off the coast of Libya with 117 people on board. It’s estimated that over 2,200 people lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life in 2018.
The Pope also had words of comfort for the people of Colombia telling them he was close to them following a serious terrorist attack at took place last Thursday at the National Police College. He said he was praying for the victims and their families, adding, that he was praying for the path of peace in the country.
Visit to Panama
Following the recitation of the Marian prayer the Pope reminded the faithful in St Peter’s Square that he would be travelling to Panama, for World Youth Day which will take place from 22 to 27 January. “I ask you”, he said, “ to pray for this very beautiful and important event in the journey of the Church.”
Message for the World Day of Social Communications
During the Angelus address, the Pope noted that the coming week will see the publication of the Message for the World Day of Social Communications, which this year contains a reflection on the network communities and the human community. He said the “Internet and social media are a resource of our time; an opportunity to stay in touch with others, to share values and projects, and to express the desire to cultivate communities.”
Pope Francis also recalled the first International Day of Education, established by the United Nations to highlight and promote the essential role of education in human and social development, which is celebrated on 24 January. In this context, he said, “I encourage the efforts of UNESCO to make peace grow in the world through education, and I hope that it will be made accessible to all and that it will be integral, free from ideological colonization. A prayer and a wish to all educators: good work”.