May we never forget them

19 April 2016

(Brussels), 19 April 2016 – In his heartfelt visit to the Greek island of Lesbos at the weekend, Pope Francis stood in solidarity with refugees and migrants, reminding them “you are not alone.” 

The Pope met with hundreds of refugees and migrants at the Moria detention centre on the island. There, he told the people present, “do not lose hope.”

Here, we share the prayer of Pope Francis on Lesbos.

Merciful God, 
we pray to you for all the men, women and children 
who have died after leaving their homelands in search of a better life. 
Though many of their graves bear no name, 
to you each one is known, loved and cherished. 
May we never forget them, but honour their sacrifice 
with deeds more than words. 
We entrust to you all those who have made this journey, 
enduring fear, uncertainty and humiliation, 
in order to reach a place of safety and hope. 
Just as you never abandoned your Son 
as he was brought to a safe place by Mary and Joseph, 
so now be close to these, your sons and daughters, 
through our tenderness and protection. 
In caring for them may we seek a world 
where none are forced to leave their home 
and where all can live in freedom, dignity and peace. 
Merciful God and Father of all, 
wake us from the slumber of indifference, 
open our eyes to their suffering, 
and free us from the insensitivity 
born of worldly comfort and self-centredness. 
Inspire us, as nations, communities and individuals, 
to see that those who come to our shores are our brothers and sisters. 
May we share with them the blessings we have received from your hand, 
and recognize that together, as one human family, 
we are all migrants, journeying in hope to you, our true home, 
where every tear will be wiped away, 
where we will be at peace and safe in your embrace.