Denver, Colo., May 11, 2023 / 13:10 pm
In his message for the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, released May 11, Pope Francis recognized the migratory flows of our times as “the expression of a complex and varied phenomenon” that requires analysis of the different stages, including the departure, arrival, and the possibility of returning to one’s homeland.
The Church observes the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on the last Sunday of September, which this year falls on Sept. 24. This year’s theme is “Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay.”
Pope Francis pointed out that the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt was not a free decision. This is the case with many migrants. He added that persecutions, wars, atmospheric phenomena, and extreme poverty are some of the main causes of forced migrations today.
“Conflicts, natural disasters, or more simply the impossibility of living a dignified and prosperous life in one’s native land is forcing millions of persons to leave,” he said.