MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE 104th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 2018
[14 January 2018]
“Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees”
“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).
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 (Matthew 25:35-43). The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future.
In this regard, I wish to reaffirm that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”.