12 January 2018 - Light a candle to support migrants in their journey of hope: this is the proposal of the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters, a religious congregation that has been dealing with migrants since its foundation, on the occasion of the next World Day of Migrants and Refugees , which will be celebrated on Sunday, January 14th. "This year we invite to light a candle or a candle in front of one of the house windows, all over the world, between the 14th and 15th of January", explains Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, Superior General of the Scalabrinians, in a note sent to Agenzia Fides. "It is a small gesture that testifies our closeness to migrants who travel in search of hope".
Sister Neusa de Fatima explains that "migrants are the protagonists of a journey with which they put at risk what is most precious for them, their life. But there are not only the experiences of the Mediterranean. The borders of the world are many: starting from North and Central America, with the border between Mexico and the United States, then moving on to the dramas that are experienced in Africa and Asia, which Pope Francis himself has recently visited". "The world must become aware that migration is a human fact and managing and supporting it is a fact of humanity", she reiterated, with the hope that "perhaps this is the right moment in which single national borders are torn down".
Finally, the Superior General recalls the Pope's Message and stresses that "the four actions suggested by the Pontiff, to welcome, protect, promote and integrate, are a commitment not only to institutions but also to all citizens of the world. As Pope Francis rightly pointed out during the Christmas Mass, Joseph and Mary were migrants: they were fleeing to survive. Their model of being a family is a universal principle".
In the Message that Pope Francis published for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018, on the theme "Welcome, Protect, Promote and Integrate migrants and refugees", the Pope writes among other things: "Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age. The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future. This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience: from departure through journey to arrival and return. This is a great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities". On Sunday 14 January, on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the Holy Father Francis will celebrate Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 am. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 11/1/2018)