Palermo - The gates of the prison Pagliarelli have been opened
Visiting the "peripheries" of the city of Palermo, one discovers crosses of suffering. One of these is the Pagliarelli District Prison, a prison that houses about 1,300 inmates, including 500 foreigners.
For the first time, Saturday, May 7, the Community of Sant'Egidio organized a meeting with the inmates of the women's prison. This "peripherical" place because far from the heart and the mind of the city, where sadness and loneliness are companions of so many, has become on this occasion a place of hope and friendship.
“Who is in prison, looks back with regret or remorse to the days when he was free, and undergoes a burden in his present time that never seems to pass.” – Blessed John Paul II wrote in his message for the Jubilee in Prisons in July 2000.
The text of this message has been delivered to 70 women, young and old, Italian and foreign, who welcomed the visiting delegates of the Community of Palermo and Rome, and received a gift of pajamas and shower gel. In the presence of the director, of some teachers, and staff of the prison, in a room prepared for the occasion, some community members have spoken of Sant'Egidio, friendship, future, redemption and hope. Words, continuous and interrupted by spontaneous applause, that have touched hearts. It was also the occasion to propose the project to the prisoner women "Releasing prisoners in Africa".
The distribution of gifts has opened the door to many requests of correspondence and interviews. Excitement, joy and sincere thanks of the heart were the feelings expressed by an inmate who, with a few simple words, on behalf of all, wanted to witness the emotion and gratitude for this meeting and the desire for new occasions like this.