Vatican City, Oct 30, 2023 / 14:15 pm
Pope Francis on Monday encouraged a group of women who escaped criminal organizations in Italy to keep fighting despite fear and to know they are not alone.
“You, dear women, were born and raised in contexts corrupted by Mafia crime, and you have decided to come out of it. I bless this choice of yours, and I encourage you to move forward,” he said during an audience in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on the morning of Oct. 30.
“I imagine that there are moments of fear, of bewilderment; this is normal. In these moments think of the Lord Jesus who walks by your side,” he said. “You are not alone; keep fighting.”
The women were accompanied by Father Luigi Ciotti. The 78-year-old Italian priest is the founder of two associations: Gruppo Abele helps those with drug and other addictions and Libera combats the abuses of criminal organizations in Italy and around the world.