Migrants aboard a dinghy in April 2021 Migrants aboard a dinghy in April 2021 

Pope: Migrants at sea should never be denied aid

Pope Francis prays for the migrants who died attempting to cross the Mediterranean, describing this as a moment of shame. He also recalls the 82 victims of the fire in a Covid hospital in Baghdad and the pain caused by a volcanic eruption on the islands of St. Vincent and Granadine.

Vatican News staff writer

Addressing the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square for the recitation of the Regina Coeli prayer, Pope Francis turned his thoughts to the tragic loss of lives, once again, in the Mediterranean sea. We ought to be ashamed, said the Pope, remembering the 130 victims. 

In a heartfelt appeal, Pope Francis assured of his closeness to those people who "for two whole days begged in vain for help. Help that never came". They are people, said the Pope. Human lives. 

The Pope then asked that everyone question themselves "about this umpteenth tragedy". 

It is a moment of shame, continued the Pope, "We pray for these brothers and sisters, and for so many who continue to die on these dramatic journeys. We also pray for those who can help but prefer to look the other way. We pray in silence..."

Prayers for Baghdad and St Vincent & Grenadine

Pope Francis also asked for prayers for the victims in Iraq, of "the fire at a hospital for those suffering from Covid in Baghdad. So far 82 are dead", noted the Pope.

He then turned his thoughts and closeness to the polulation "of the islands of St. Vincent and Granadine where a volcanic eruption is causing damage and inconvenience."

The beatification of ten martyrs

Finally, Francis recalled that last Friday in Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala, José María Gran and nine fellow martyrs were beatified, three priests and seven lay people from the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, "killed between 1980 and 1991, a time of persecution against the Catholic Church committed to the defense of the poor." Animated by faith in Christ, he stressed, "they were heroic witnesses of justice and love. May their example make us more generous and courageous in living the Gospel."

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25 April 2021, 12:31