Pope welcomes unusual pilgrim to Vatican

Pope Francis greets Little Amal and activists raising awareness about the plight of unaccompanied refugee minors at the Vatican on Friday (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis welcomed a giant puppet symbolising unaccompanied refugee children to the Vatican on Friday. Source: CNA.

The 3-metre tall puppet, called Little Amal, arrived in St Peter’s Square on Friday on a journey from Gaziantep, near the border between Turkey and Syria, to Manchester, England.

The puppet, blinking and waving its arms, was greeted by the Vatican Cardinal Michael Czerny beside the bronze sculpture Angels Unawares, which depicts migrants huddled together on a raft and was unveiled in the square in 2019.

Cardinal Czerny, under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, was joined by Bishop Benoni Ambăruş, a Romania-born auxiliary bishop of Rome diocese responsible for the pastoral care of migrants.

“Amal is big and beautiful, and meeting her is a pleasure,” Cardinal Czerny told Vatican News. “But she immediately reminds us that meeting vulnerable migrants, insecure workers, and asylum-seekers in our midst requires more than just a glance.”

“Each of them, with their own baggage of suffering and dreams, needs and talents, is waiting for us to open our ears, our minds, and our hearts, as well as our eyes, and stretch out our hands.”

The puppet, whose journey is known as “The Walk”, proceeded to the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, where it encountered the Pope and brightly dressed children.

The children are participants in an event known as the “March of Welcome”, marking the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which falls this year on September 26.


Pope Francis welcomes giant puppet to Vatican (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)


Pope meets unusual pilgrim carrying message of hope for refugees (CNS

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