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Prayers for the Pan-Orthodox Council and solidarity with refugees, 20.06.2016

Vatican City, 19 June 2016 – After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled that yesterday in Foggia, Italy, Sr. Maria Celeste Crostarosa, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer, was beatified, and he asked for her help and intercession to conform our life to that of Jesus, our Saviour.

He went on to mention that today, solemnity of Pentecost according to the Julian calendar followed by the Orthodox Church, the Pan-Orthodox Council begins in Crete with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. "We join in the prayer of our Orthodox brothers, invoking the Holy Spirit that He might assist with His gifts the patriarchs, archbishops and bishops gathered in the Council. And let us all pray together to the Virgin for our orthodox brothers", he said, inviting the faithful in St. Peter's Square to pray the Hail Mary.

He also referred to the World Refugee Day, to be held tomorrow, Monday 20 June, which takes as its theme this year "With refugees: we stand together". "Refugees are people like the rest of us, but who have been deprived of their homes, work, relatives and friends as a result of war. Their stories and their faces call upon us to renew our commitment to building peace in justice. Therefore, we wish to stand with them: to meet them, welcome them, listen to them, and together to become artisans of peace in accordance with God's will".