In a message to participants at a lunch organized by Caritas Rome in the city’s main soup kitchen that caters for tens of thousands of poor people, many of them migrants and refugees, His Holiness Pope Francis  highlighted the importance and the value of “sharing” spaces, events and simple things like a meal, in order to overcome barriers and nurture feelings of brotherhood.

At the heart of the Pope’s message which was read out during the lunch by Fr Enrico Feroci, Director of Caritas Roma, was an encouragement to all to continue together on a journey with migrants and refugees by sharing meals and stories, and also by putting into action a series of everyday gestures to remind the world that “we are one human family”, that we need each other, and that together it is possible to create a “wave of solidarity” which is capable of moving the stones of indifference, prejudice and fear. As reported by Vatican Radio, Holy Father Pope Francis concluded his message with a blessing for what he called “this special table” and said: “You have taken up the invitation to launch an initiative to raise awareness on a global scale in support of migrants and refugees. It’s the ‘Share the Journey’ campaign which we inaugurated together on 27 September last year.  Today, I would like to invite everyone – migrants, refugees, Caritas workers and institutions – to reflect on the instances of this journey that been most meaningful for you: what is the hope that drives you forward? Share this thought and celebrate all that unites us!”

The Caritas lunch, organized as part of a Week of Global Action around UN World Refugee Day which is marked, each year on June 20, saw the participation of some 100 migrants and refugees together with the heads of Caritas organizations in Rome as well as ecclesial and civil authorities. In his message His Holiness Pope Francis also highlighted “I wish to encourage the Caritas family, the faithful and their pastors, and all people of good will to create ever new spaces for sharing” so that such meetings may give life renewed feelings of fraternity with migrants and refugees.