Pope prays for victims, survivors of migrant tragedies
Friday, November 01, 2013 - 01:10
Nov. 1 - Pope Francis conducts a mass for All Saints Day, asking for prayers for survivors of recent migrant tragedies in Niger and in Italy as well as the victims. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Pope Francis traveled to Rome's largest cemetery on Friday (November 1) to celebrate mass for the Feast of All Saints Day, and asked for prayers not only for the victims of two recent migrant tragedies, but also for the survivors, many of whom are living in cramped conditions in overcrowded rescue centers.
Thousands of people crowded into Verano Cemetery in Rome to attend the mass for the commemoration of the dead on the Feast of All Saints.
"We have all seen the photographs, the cruelty of the desert, and we saw the sea, where many drowned, pray for them. And we pray for those who are saved; they are now in many different overcrowded rescue centers. Let's hope that the legal practicalities can be hurried up so that they can move on to other centers that are more comfortable," said the Pope.
Pope Francis was particularly referring to two separate incidents in southern Italy last month, where in the first tragedy more than 300 people drowned after a boat packed with African migrants caught fire and sank and just one week later a further 200 were feared dead in another boat sinking.
The pontiff also referred to a tragedy in northern Niger two days ago where the corpses of 92 migrants, most of them women and children, were found after their vehicles broke down attempting to cross the vast Sahara desert.
It is traditional for Catholics to visit the graves of deceased loved-ones on November 2, All Souls Day, and in Italy many also go to cemeteries on All Saints Day, a national holiday.
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