Pope Francis laughs with a Missionary of Charity  (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

By Devin Watkins

Sep 25 2023

Pope Francis starts his second day in Marseille with an encounter with people facing financial difficulty and a brief meeting with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Margaritis Schinas.

On Saturday morning, Pope Francis held a brief meeting with Mr. Margaritis Schinas, the Vice-President of the European Commission, at the Archbishop’s Residence in Marseille.

He also met with several people working for various organizations that rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

Afterwards, he traveled to the residence of the Missionaries of Charity, which is in Saint-Mauront, considered the poorest neighbourhood in France.

Speaking to the religious sisters and several people facing financial hardship, Pope Francis encouraged everyone to overcome political, social, or religious differences in order to build fraternity.

“Fraternity unites us,” said the Pope. “It is a prophetic act to live as brothers and sisters. Beyond all religious or political differences, we are brothers and sisters.”

According to Sister Crosvita, one of the Missionaries serving in the facility, the soup kitchen serves lunch to around 250 people every day, except Thursday, their day of rest.

Asked why she and her sisters carry out their mission on behalf of the poor, Sr. Crosvita said simply: “To see Christ in others, in any person whom we meet.”

Dignity and migration

The Pope has traveled to the city to take part in the conclusion of the Mediterranean Meetings, which gathered around 70 bishops and 120 young people from across the region.

Held annually, the Meetings seek to highlight the issue of migration and the need for the Church and civil leaders to recognize people’s inherent dignity, even if they are forced to leave their homelands in search of a better life.

Pope Francis wraps up the week-long encounter on Saturday, before celebrating Mass in Marseille and returning to Rome. – Vatican News