(Vatican Radio) Following the Angleus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke about first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, the promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace” and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).
The Day of Prayer occurs on 8 February, the liturgical memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese sister who, as a child, was herself a victim of slavery and human trafficking.
In his remarks, the Holy Father called for help for “the many men, women, and children who are enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of labour or of pleasure, who are often tortured and mutilated.”
He called on government leaders to act decisively “to remove the causes of this shameful wound… a wound that is unworthy of civil society,” and said that everyone is called to be “a voice for these our brothers and sisters.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks by leading the crowds in praying a “Hail Mary” for all the victims of human trafficking, and for those who are close to them.
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