Migrants are like Jesus who was forced to seek refuge in a stable and then flee to Egypt, Pope Francis said Friday.
The Nativity Scene in St
Peter's Square, he said, recalls "the sad and tragic reality of
migrants on boats heading for Italy.
In the painful experience
of these brothers and sisters, we see again that of the baby
Jesus, who at the time of His birth did not find lodging and was
born in the grotto in Bethlehem; and then he was taken to Egypt
to escape the threat of Herod."
The pope said this sent "a
message of fraternity, sharing, welcoming and solidarity".
pope said in an audience for the Maltese and Trentino
communities that donated this year's Nativity scene and
Christmas Tree that the nativity scenes in churches and many
public places, too, are "an invitation to make room in our lives
and in God's society, for the many people who are in conditions
of discomfort, poverty and tribulation".