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File photo of Hagia Sopha in Instanbul File photo of Hagia Sopha in Instanbul 

Pope Francis: 'I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened'

Pope Francis, following the recitation of the Marian Prayer and recalling Sea Sunday, also made reference to the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, recently transformed into a mosque.

By Vatican News

On the second Sunday in July the International Day of the Sea is observed. Recalling the celebration at the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis extended “an affectionate greeting to all those who work at sea, especially those who are far from their loved ones and their country.”

He also had a particular greeting for those who gathered on Sunday morning in the Italian port of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia for the celebration of the Eucharist.

Hagia Sophia

Dwelling on the sea, the Pope said it made him think about what is happening in Istanbul.

This week President Tayyip Erdogan announced his decision to turn the Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque.

“I think of Hagia Sophia”, said Pope Francis, “and I am very saddened.”

Sea Sunday

Sea Sunday is an annual event which remembers seafarers in prayer and for the vital work they do.

This year has been one like no other, and many Christian Churches are asking people to spare a thought for the sacrifices those at sea have been making during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the situation, seafarers have been keeping supermarket shelves stocked and have been involved in the transportation of PPE equipment.

12 July 2020, 12:27