Pope Francis on Wednesday offered a long papamobile tour of St. Peter's Square to eight migrant children recently arrived in Italy.
Originally from Syria, Nigeria or Congo, they accompanied the sovereign pontiff in his tower of Saint Peter's Square to greet the faithful before the traditional Wednesday general audience.
They wore T-shirts with the four key recommendations repeated relentlessly by Pope Francis to migrants: "Welcome, Protect, Promote, Integrate".
Some of these children arrived from Libya on April 29 by plane via a "humanitarian corridor" that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) intends to develop with other European countries to evacuate vulnerable migrants trapped by the fighting. Libya.
The other children invited by the Pope had arrived on a boat a few months ago, said the Holy See, stating that they were all currently hosted with their families in a reception center called "Monde Monde" near Rome.
François, smiling broadly, stopped throughout his turn in papamobile to kiss dozens of children in the crowd.
He regularly criticizes Europe for its "insensitivity" to migrants, believing that it forgets its own history of migration. The subject, which is also worthy of criticism to the pope among Catholics, is at the heart of the next European elections.
At the end of the hearing, François also greeted and thanked a delegation of the humanitarian organization "Save the Children", present in many war zones and celebrating its centenary.