Names and stories, too often ignored or forgotten, resonatein the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Mariam, Syrian pregnant woman and her two children, Ghiorghis and Mansour, drowned while attempting to reach the Greek island of Lesbos from Turkey on March 22, 2013. Mohammed Mustafa and Saadia, and others whose names are unknown, died with them. Qurban and Musa, who suffocated in a truck on a ferry from Patras to Ancona on June 23, 2012.
And again Aziz, Syrian, who died of cold on the border between Turkey and Bulgaria on 21 December 2012; Issa and Anwar, drowned off the coast of the Aegean with 59 other Syrian and Palestinian refugees, including 28 children and 3 newborn babies, on an overcrowded boat.
These are only a few of the victims of the journeys to Europe for whom the Community of Sant'Egidio, together with the Astalli Center Association, Italian Caritas, Migrantes Foundation, Federation of the Evangelical Churches and ACLI has organised a prayer vigil for the World Refugee Day.
Card. Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, said in his homily, quoting Pope Francis, that thistragedy can not be considered "normal", the death of so many can not fail to be in the news," and reminded the audience that "We are called not only to remember, but also to act”. FULL TEXT (IT)
While the congregation joins the singing of the choirs of the various immigrant communities, the names and storiesare read and candles are lit.
It is the punctual and personal memory, the first action. It is requesting our world to stop and remember those who lost their lives in an attempt to look for a humane future for themselves and their children.
From this shared memory also comes an appeal to governments and to the European Community to makeevery effort in order to protect refugees and safeguard the lives and dignity of migrants, starting with the opening of humanitarian corridors and of a European Drop-in Centre in Lampedusa .
Bishop Siluan - Romanian Orthodox Diocese in Italy
Archbishop David Moxon - Director of the Anglican Centre - Rome Pastor Antonio Adamo - Shepherd Valdese
Father Peter Balleis - JRS International Director
Don Francesco Chen - Chinese Catholic priest
Abba Gebremariam - Ethiopian Orthodox Priest
P. Mehari Habtay Ghebremedhin - Eritrean Catholic Priest
Rev. Dana Inglese - Anglican Church of Rome
Mons. Marco Gnavi - Community of Sant'Egidio
Father Iurie Hincu - Moldovan Orthodox Priest
Pastor Samuel Kpoti - Reformed Pastor
Father Giovanni La Manna - Astalli Center JRS Italy
Father Robert Mgbekyrike - Chaplain Nigerian community
Mons Giancarlo Perego - Migrantes Foundation
Mons. Francesco Soddu - Italian Caritas
Don Francesco Tedeschi - Community of Sant'Egidio
Don Mosè Zerai – Habeshia Agency
The choirs of the Catholic Congolese community, the Latin American chaplaincy, the Ethiopian Orthodox community, the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Nigerian Catholic community, the community Moldovan Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox community and the Filipino community.