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Sunday 18 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Maria Anna Blondin

Vatican welcomes more Syrian refugees—including a woman once held by ISIS

AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS

TOPSHOTS A migrant sits on the beach, as he just arrived, with other refugees and migrants, on the Greek island of Lesbos, on October 7, 2015, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey. Greek premier Alexis Tsipras said on October 6 that Athens would upgrade its refugee facilities by November to tackle the growing influx from Syria as the EU pledged 600 extra staff to help. Europe is grappling with its biggest migration challenge since World War II, with the main surge coming from civil war-torn Syria. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/04/17

This news broke yesterday:

The Vatican has welcomed three new Syrian refugee families, two of them Christian and one Muslim, the Holy See’s office of papal charities announced today. The two Christian families arrived in Italy in March. Both families suffered “kidnapping and other forms of discrimination because of their faith,” the Vatican statement said. The first family includes a mother with two teenage children, a grandmother, an aunt and another Syrian woman living with them. The second family is a young couple, whose first daughter, Stella, was born just two weeks ago. According to the statement, the mother “was abducted for several months by ISIS and now, in Italy, has found serenity.” The third family, which is Muslim, was the first to arrive in Italy, back in February 2016. The family of four includes two parents and two children. The children are attending elementary school, while the mother is enrolled in a degree course for “intercultural mediators” and has also recently begun an apprenticeship for employment.

And somebackground:

The effort comes after Pope Francis made a special appeal, on September 6, 2015, to house a refugee family in every parish, religious community, monastery and shrine. Since then, 70 families (145 people in total) have been hosted in Rome.
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