On World Refugee Day

"Guarantee a Welcome and Dignified Living Conditions for Refugees"

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SERRAVALLE, San Marino, JUNE 19, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today in Italian and French before praying the Marian prayer of the Angelus after celebrating Mass in the Olympic Stadium of Serravalle at the beginning of his one-day trip to the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro.

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[In Italian, he said:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we conclude this celebration, the midday hour invites us to turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary. Also in this land, our Most Holy Mother is venerated in various shrines, ancient and modern. To her I entrust all of you and the whole Sammarinese and Montefeltrina population, in a particular way persons suffering in body and spirit. At this moment I address a special thought of gratitude to all those who cooperated in the preparation and organization of my visit. My heartfelt thank you!

[In French, he said:]

I am happy to recall that today in Dax, France, Sister Marguerite Rutan, Daughter of Charity, has been proclaimed blessed. In the second half of the 18th century she worked with great commitment in the hospital in Dax, but in the tragic persecution following the Revolution, she was sentenced to death for her Catholic faith and fidelity to the Church.

I participate spiritually in the joy of the Daughters of Charity and of all the faithful who, in Dax, are taking part in the beatification of Sister Marguerite Rutan, luminous witness of the love of Christ for the poor.

[In Italian, he said:]

Finally, I wish to remind that tomorrow is World Refugee Day. On this occasion, this year we mark the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the international convention to protect those who are persecuted and forced to flee their own countries. I urge civil authorities and all people of good will to guarantee a welcome and dignified living conditions for refugees, until they can freely and safely return to their homeland.

[Translation by ZENIT]