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Pope: God’s plan gives priority to migrants, refugees

A migrant holds Pope Francis' hand during his visit to Lesbos in 2006, (Photo: Vatican News Agency)

In his annual speech for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis stressed that God's plan is intrinsically inclusive and gives priority to marginalized people such as migrants and refugees, displaced persons, and victims of human trafficking.

On May 12, the pope released the message for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which the Church marks on September 25.

Most of the Pope's address focused on the significance of our "journey" to our final, heavenly home.

He said that the Kingdom of God is already inside those who have chosen Jesus as their way to be saved.

The Pontiff said as the end of God's kingdom gets closer, each person must try to change to make the world a better place and "align more closely with divine purpose."

In this message, Pope Francis also thought about the constant struggles and hardships of people. He asked them to commit to building a peaceful and respectful society.

"In light of what we have learned from recent tribulations, we are urged to renew our commitment to constructing a future that conforms ever more fully to God's purpose for a world in which all people can live in peace and dignity," he added.

God's character is inclusiveness. So, the pope wanted a society where every person in the world is welcome and no one is left out.

"God’s plan is essentially inclusive and gives priority to those living on the existential peripheries. Among them are many migrants and refugees, displaced persons, and victims of trafficking,” he said.

He told all Christians to work together with people who had been moved against their will to build God's kingdom.

He said that being a full member of God's kingdom means including the most vulnerable people.

The pope says that for migrants and refugees to help build the future, their value and potential must be recognized in the countries where they currently live.

Part of recognizing migrants and refugees is accepting strangers, as the Prophet, Isaiah foretold in a vision, not as "invaders or destroyers" but rather as "willing laborers" who contribute to the betterment of society.

Furthermore, the pope stated that migrants and refugees were a significant source of social and economic prosperity for their adoptive countries.

"Their work, their youth, their enthusiasm, and their willingness to sacrifice enrich the communities that receive them. Yet this contribution could be optimized and supported by carefully developed programs and initiatives,” added the pope.

In his concluding remarks, Pope Francis acknowledged the spiritual benefits that migrants and refugees may provide to society.

"Catholic migrants may energize the ecclesial life of the communities that welcome them," he stated.

"Sharing different expressions of faith and devotion offers us a privileged opportunity to experience God's people's catholicity fully," he concluded. - With reporting from Kasmir Nema


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.