"Today we celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Millions of people are involved in the phenomenon of migration, but they are not numbers! They are men and women, children, the young and the old who are searching for a place where they can live in peace."

So said Pope Benedict XVI reflected on during the Angelus on Sunday, January 15. The Pope continued: "In my Message for this Day of Migrants and Refugees he reminded everyone about the theme 'Migration and the new evangelization', stressing that migrants are not only recipients but also witnesses of proclaiming the Gospel in the contemporary world. In this context I am pleased to greet the representatives of the migrant communities in Rome, present today in St. Peter's Square. Welcome".

Before the Marian prayer, the Pope recalled the theme of vocation, presented in the Bible readings for Sunday: the call of the Prophet Samuel and the call of the first disciples of Jesus "Both of these stories - the Pope said - emphasize the role of the mediator, helping those who are called to recognize the voice of God, and to follow it". He then emphasized "the role of a spiritual guide in the journey of faith and, in particular, in responding to a religious vocation in the service of God and his people".

"The call to follow Jesus more closely, giving up to form one's own family in order to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, often comes from the witness and suggestion of a spiritual 'older brother', who is often a priest. This without forgetting the fundamental role of parents, whose joyful and authentic faith, and whose conjugal love, show their children that building one's life on the love of God is both beautiful and possible".

After praying the Angelus, the Pope looked ahead to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan 18-25, inviting everyone, "on a personal and community level, to join together to pray to God for the gift of full unity amongst all the disciples of Christ".



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