"These people, foreign to them, are attentive to their needs. They light a fire to warm up, offer them shelter from rain and food. Even if they have not yet received the Good News of Christ, they manifest the love of God in concrete acts of kindness," the pope said.
"The hospitality of the Maltese islanders is rewarded by the healing miracles God works through Paul," he added, highlighting that if the Maltese people were a sign of God's providence for St. Paul, he was also a witness of God's merciful love for them.
Francis went on to note that the sea which shipwrecked Paul and his companions is the same sea men and women from around the world risk crossing to "escape violence, war, and poverty."
Not only do migrants face the indifference and hostility of the desert or sea, he said, but they also risk exploitation by traffickers or being considered a threat by some government leaders: "Sometimes hospitality refuses them like a wave."
He urged Christians to "work together to show migrants the love of God revealed by Jesus Christ" and to testify "that every person is precious to God and loved by him."
The divisions among Christians "prevent us from being fully the sign of God's love," he stressed.
"Working together to live hospitality, especially towards those whose life is more vulnerable, will make all of us Christians – Protestants, Orthodox, Catholics, all Christians – it will make us better human beings, better disciples and a more united Christian people. It will bring us closer to unity, which is God's will for us."
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.