Pope Francis on Sunday highlighted the plight of refugees and migrants all over the world in his speech during the Christmas Eve Mass, BBC reported.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church recounted the story of Mary and Joseph, and how they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem but found no place to stay. At present, millions of migrants are forced to leave their homelands in search of a better life or just for survival, the pope said. He said that he hoped no one would feel “there is no room for them on this earth”, AP reported.
“So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary,” the 81-year-old leader of the Vatican, the grandson of Italian migrants who moved to Argentina, told worshippers in St Peter’s Basilica. “We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away but, driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones,” he said.
His comments come as the number of refugees worldwide rose to 22.5 million. The latest major cross-border migration in the world was that of Rohingya Muslims, who have been fleeing persecution and violence in Myanmar since August.
Pope Francis will deliver his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” Christmas address on Monday.