In a show of sympathy and support for migrants fleeing war and misery in their native countries, Pope Francis has drawn a clear line between the biblical story of Joseph and Mary and the current refugee crisis, German media wrote.
Addressing a crowd of 10,000 believers gathered outside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Sunday, the Pontiff said that, just like Jesus Christ’s parents did more than 2,000 years ago, millions of people now have to abandon their homes looking for a better life in faraway lands.
"So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away but, driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones," Pope Francis said during Midnight Mass on Sunday, Deutsche Welle reported.
He added that respect for migrants was an integral part of Christianity.
Europe has been experiencing the worst migrant crisis in its history since 2015 with over 110,000 migrants and refugees, most of them from Syria and Iraq, having arrived in the EU since January.