(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday gave a special greeting to a group of children from Bosnia and Herzegovina who have been participating in a special programme to foster inter-community harmony by allowing children from different backgrounds to live together in a neutral setting, which in this case is Sicily.
Children from Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim backgrounds have been living with Sicilian host families from 19 December, and will return home on 21 January. The programme is sponsored by the Luciano Lama Association.
“Dear children, spending time together as brothers and sisters with your host families, you have the opportunity to grow in an atmosphere of hope,” – Pope Francis told them during his weekly General Audience – “Only in this way can you young Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims rescue the hope to live in a world which is more fraternal, just and peaceful; more sincere and more humane.”
He told them to always remain firm in faith and pray for the peace and unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the whole world.
“I sincerely thank the host families for their example of love and Christian solidarity: Orphans should always be defended, protected and welcomed with love,” – The Pope concluded – “I assure you of my spiritual closeness and I cordially impart upon all of you my Apostolic Blessing.”