To thousands still stuck on ships, pope says: You are not forgotten

Bulk carriers
Vladimir Vyatkin | Sputnik | AFP

Pope acknowledges the heavy burden they have to bear, “now more than ever.”

Pope Francis sent a video message to maritime personnel this week, as many thousands of cruise ship workers are still stranded at sea.

Directed to fishermen as well as other types of sea workers, the Holy Father expressed gratitude for the food they provide humanity.

The rest of his message provided words of comfort:

In these past months, your lives and your work have seen significant changes; you have had to make, and are continuing to make, many sacrifices. Long periods spent aboard ships without being able to disembark, separation from families, friends and native countries, fear of infection … All these things are a heavy burden to bear, now more than ever.

I would like to say something to all of you. Know that you are not alone and that you are not forgotten. Your work at sea often keeps you apart from others, but you are close to me in my thoughts and prayers, and in those of your chaplains and the volunteers of Stella Maris. The Gospel itself reminds us of this, when it speaks to us of Jesus and his first disciples, who were fishermen.

Today I would like to offer you a message and a prayer of hope, comfort and consolation in the face of whatever hardships you have to endure. I would also offer a word of encouragement to all those who work with you in providing pastoral care for maritime personnel.

May the Lord bless each of you, your work and your families, and may the Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, protect you always. I too give you my blessing and I keep you in my prayers. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me. Thank you.

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