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The Pope hugs the immigrant Pato: I prayed a lot for your family

The Pope hugs the immigrant Pato: I prayed a lot for your family

Francis received the immigrant Mbingo Nembelo Krippen, known as Batu, for a private meeting. The 30-year-old Cameroonian lost his wife, Matila, and his 6-year-old daughter, Mary, at the end of last July, who died of hunger, heat, and thirst in the desert between Tunisia and Libya.

Alessandro Di Bussolo and Michele Raviarte – Vatican City

Looking at the photo of the two victims, the Pope said that he prayed very intensely for the young man, who burst into tears from the Pope’s words. He was accompanied at the hour-long meeting at the Casa Santa Marta residence by Mattia Ferrari, priest of the Mediterranean Save Humanity organisation, and Cardinal Michael Czerny, head of the Dicastery for the Integrated Development of Human Beings, along with several other migrants and aid workers. Which ensured the possibility of Batu’s arrival in Italy.

Patou lost his wife and 6-year-old daughter in July this year after the family was arrested by Tunisian authorities and returned to the desert between Libya and Tunisia. Moved by his story, the Pope listened to Pato, who found words of gratitude for this encounter, but also embodied the painful story of thousands of people suffering as they tried to reach Europe. David, from South Sudan, who worked alongside prisoners in a camp in North Africa, thanked the Pope for his encouragement and his words on behalf of the migrants: “You not only give us a dream, but you also receive us in a tangible way.”


Pato with his wife and daughter

Francis’ prayer for migrants and those working with them

In his greeting, Francis thanked those present for their commitment, recalled the advantage of being born in places where one can study and work, and added: “But the privilege includes the commitment to achievement.” “What you do should not be a choice, but a duty for all of us.”

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Before bidding farewell, the Pope prayed for those present and asked the Lord to guard those who “work for others.” He also included in his prayers those who were unable to attend, those in concentration camps and “the many who are suffering.”

Audience in the Vatican

Audience in the Vatican

Later, the Rev. Mattia told Vatican Radio how Pato, a Catholic now living in a reception center in Italy, was moved when he received the blessing of Pope Francis, who for a long time laid his hand on the young widower’s head. He added, “Bato thanked him for the closeness that the Pope always shows towards immigrants.” He told the Pope that in the great pain he was enduring, “feeling his tenderness was a gift from God.”

The 30-year-old Cameroonian, who is waiting to receive his asylum application papers, lost his wife and daughter in the desert while trying to cross with them from Libya to Tunisia, after trying the Mediterranean route four times without success. At the end of July, Francis learned of the deaths of Mattila and Marie in another meeting with Mattia Ferrari and the Cameroonian immigrant Bintolo. At that time, they showed the injured Pope a photo of them that had been circulating on the Internet.

(Vatican News – MG)

Audience in the Vatican

Audience in the Vatican