First visit outside the Vatican of Pope Francis, in Lampesuda, Italy

Date: 10 July 2013

Pope Francis in Lampedusa – July 2013

It was truly inspiring to receive the news today about the first visit
outside the Vatican of Pope Francis. His Holiness chose the island of
Lampedusa in Sicily region, Italy, for this very important step.

As you know, Lampedusa is a crucial spot in the South of Europe where
thousands of migrants gather after travelling often in dramatic conditions
from Africa and the East. It is one of the gates of Europe for those
searching for hope, mainly young people. Pope Francis´ visit, his words and
his direct contact with migrants in the island have been deeply appreciated
by them and many different institutions in Italy and across Europe and the
world. This gesture makes us think, once again, about one of the main
challenges in Europe.

We are blessed that a growing number of YMCAs are increasing their work with
newcomers and asylum seekers.