World Day of Migrants and Refugees: 15 January 2017
The theme of Pope Francis’s 2017 Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees is 'Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless'.
Pope Francis says, 'I feel compelled to draw attention to the reality of child migrants, especially the ones who are alone. In doing so I ask everyone to take care of the young, who in a threefold way are defenceless: they are children, they are foreigners, and they have no means to protect themselves. I ask everyone to help those who, for various reasons, are forced to live far from their homeland and are separated from their families'.
The Parish Resource Pack for 2017 (16pps; PDF) prepared by Irish Bishops Conference for use on this day and throughout the year includes the following prayer attributed to the Sisters of Mercy
Prayer for Unaccompanied Migrant Children
Mary, you traveled alone
To reach the loving embrace
Of your beloved family member.
Elizabeth welcomed you with
Open arms and an open heart.
Be with those children
Who are traveling across borders
To seek solace with family.
Protect them from exploitation
And from traumatizing experiences.
Teach us by
The example of the Visitation.
Grant us open arms
And open hearts
To receive your children
Trying to find the way
To a new, life-giving home.
Mary, Mother of the human family,
Help us end the misery
Of children separated from family
By man-made borders
But not by love.
May they arrive, as you did,
To joy and to the benediction
Of a loving embrace.
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Thumbnail image: IStock. Used under licence