What an amazing visitation...
MORIA, Greece (AP) -- Pope Francis gave Europe a concrete lesson Saturday in welcoming refugees by bringing 12 Syrian Muslims to Italy aboard his charter plane after an emotional visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, which has faced the brunt of Europe's migration crisis.
Refugees on the overwhelmed island fell to their knees and wept at his presence.
The Vatican said Francis wanted to make a "gesture of welcome" at the end of his five-hour visit to Lesbos, where he implored Europe to respond to the migrant crisis on its shores "in a way that is worthy of our common humanity." The Greek island just a few miles from the Turkish coast has seen hundreds of thousands of desperate people land on its beaches and rocks in the last year, fleeing war and poverty at home.
"Today I renew my heartfelt plea for responsibility and solidarity in the face of this tragic situation," Francis said.
Many refugees wept at Francis' feet as he and the two Orthodox leaders approached them at the Moria refugee detention center, where they greeted 250 people individually. Others chanted "Freedom! Freedom!" as the religious leaders passed by.
Francis bent down as one young girl knelt at his feet, sobbing uncontrollably. Clearly moved, the pope also blessed a man who wailed "Thank you, God. Thank you! Please Father, bless me!" A woman told Francis that her husband was in Germany but that she was stuck with her two sons in Lesbos. - Source
Song for this post here.