Lampedusa

Eritrean migrant describes journey to Pope Francis

Pontiff includes man in homily as example of suffering

Eritrean migrant describes journey to Pope Francis

Lampedusa, July 8 - A young Eritrean migrant on the island of Lampedusa who spoke with Pope Francis during the pontiff's first official trip Monday explained the conditions that drove him to make the dangerous journey by boat to Italy. The man read a message in Tigrino, his native language, while an interpreter translated simultaneously. "It was a succinct but extremely effective description of these kind of trips," Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. "And it touched the pope, so much that he included it into his homily during Mass". The man, whose voice broke often with emotion, described his journey that, like those of many, was plagued with dangers including violence and hardship. Once in Italy, he said, immigrants are electronically fingerprinted and therefore are forced to stay in the country. He asked that European Union countries help those in his situation.

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