Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 22 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Maurice and the Theban Legion
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Francis highlights four worthy causes for prayers and support

ETHIOPIA

RudiErnst | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 06/16/21

"Let us think: the Mediterranean has become Europe’s largest cemetery."

At his June 13 Angelus address, Pope Francis highlighted several causes for which he asked the faithful to lend their prayers and support. After presenting reflections on the Gospels, he made special note of the famine in Tigray, the World Day Against Child Labor, the tragedies on the Mediterranean, and World Blood Donor Day. 

The Tigray famine

The Tigray region, in Northern Ethiopia, has been struggling with food supplies since November, 2020. According to The Indian Express, the shortages stem from an influx of refugees, displaced by fighting in neighboring countries. This week, reports of widespread famine have emerged, as food stocks have dwindled to crisis levels. 

Pope Francis called attention to the suffering that has most affected the most vulnerable groups of Tigray. The pope then led those present in prayer. He said: 

“Dear brothers and sisters! I am especially close to the population of the Tigray region in Ethiopia, struck by a grave humanitarian crisis that could expose the poorest people to famine. Today there is famine; there is famine there. 

“Let us pray together that the violence may cease immediately, that food and health assistance be guaranteed to everyone, and that social harmony be restored as soon as possible. In this regard, I thank all those who work to alleviate the people’s suffering. Let us pray to Our Lady for these intentions. Hail Mary …”

World Day Against Child Labor

On June 12, countries around the globe observed the World Day Against Child Labor. Established in 2002, the international commemoration aims to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labor. According to the International Labor Organization, the world pandemic is expected to exacerbate dangerous child labor practices.

In response to the dangers that children, especially those in poor countries, are facing, Pope Francis said: 

“Yesterday, World Day Against Child Labor was celebrated. It is not possible to close our eyes before the exploitation of children, deprived of the right to play, to study and to dream. According to the estimates of the International Labor Organization, more than 150 million children are exploited by labor: this is a tragedy! 

“150 million: more or less like the inhabitants of Spain, together with France and Italy. This is happening today! So many children who suffer this: exploited by child labor. Let us all together renew the effort to eliminate this slavery of our times.”

Mediterranean shipwrecks

Pope Francis next turned his attention to an influx of migrants arriving in Sicily, as well as those who were tragically lost at sea. A report from Africa News cites some 15,000 migrants and refugees arriving since June 10. In that same time, at least 675 people have died or gone missing while attempting to make passage. This is just a small portion of those who have died in shipwrecks in the last decade. 

Pope Francis remembered those who have died in transit, both recently and in the last few years. He said: 

“This afternoon in Augusta, Sicily, the ceremony will be held for the arrival of the remains of the boat from the shipwreck of 18 April 2015. May this symbol of so many tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea continue to challenge everyone’s conscience and foster the growth of a more supportive humanity that tears down the wall of indifference. Let us think: the Mediterranean has become Europe’s largest cemetery.”

World Blood Donor Day

Before stepping away from the podium, Pope Francis promoted the World Blood Donor Day, on June 14. The pope thanked all those who took part and encouraged all the faithful to consider donating. He said: 

“Tomorrow is World Blood Donor Day. I sincerely thank the volunteers and I encourage them to continue their work, bearing witness to the values of generosity and gratuitousness. Thank you very much, thank you!”

Tags:
Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
3
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
5
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
6
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
7
ORTHODOX COMMUNION
Philip Kosloski
Why do some Eastern Catholics use spoons for Holy Communion?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.