A few minutes ago, Pope Francis landed in Lampedusa, Italian territory which, like Malta is often a staging post for fleeing migrants. On his arrival, the Pope boarded a boat of the Italian Coast Guard and proceeded to remember in prayer the migrants who died at see in their attempt to reconstruct a life. The Pope laid a wreath at sea in honour of the dead. Then he proceeded to meet the migrants in Lampedusa, most of them extremely young and thanked them repeatedly for their warm welcome.
This is the first voyage outside Rome for the Jesuit pontiff and, significantly in keeping with the franciscan theme of his pontificate, Francis chose a migrants’ haven as his first port of call.
Lampedusa is the southernmost outpost of the Italian territories and is frequently referred to as