Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018
AGRIGENTO

Pope's visit to Lampedusa 'to be simple'

English
© ANSA

Agrigento, July 2 - Organizers in Sicily say they
want to keep things very simple for Pope Francis when he visits
the Sicilian island of Lampedusa next week.
"We want to ensure that those three hours spent in
Lampedusa by the holy father are peaceful," Monsignor Francesco
Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, said Tuesday.
"We will not do anything in particular, it will be a normal
celebration because the pope wants only simply to meet the
people of Lampedusa.
"And we content ourselves with joy, doing everything with
extreme simplicity".
The pope will make an official visit to Lampedusa on July
8, when he plans to place a commemorative wreath in the waters
off the island in the memories of immigrants who perished trying
to reach land.
He will also celebrate mass with migrants and local people,
the Vatican has said.
The pope will be met with a spirit of love, said the pastor
of St. Gerlando in Lampedusa, Stefano Nastasi:
"I think he will tell us that belief in love is still
possible, you can multiply the little that you have".
In an interview with Vatican Radio Tuesday, Nastasi said he
invited the pope to Lampedusa to witness first-hand the
immigration challenges in the area.
Lampedusa, which is between Sicily and North Africa, is a
main stop-off point for boats carrying migrants trying to enter
Italy.
Many people, usually packed inside unsafe boats, die each
year trying to make the trip from North Africa to Italy and the
number of migrants increases annually in the summer months due
to improved sea conditions.
Francis "intends to pray for those who lost their lives at
sea, visit the survivors and refugees, and to encourage the
inhabitants of the island to take care of these brothers and
sisters in dire need," the Vatican has said.

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