Vatican welcomes three new refugee families from Syria

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — The first three
refugee families from Syria welcomed by the Vatican left their temporary homes
to start their new lives in Italy, and three new families took their places in
Vatican apartments.

The papal
Almoner’s Office, which
helps coordinate Pope Francis’ acts of charity, announced April 2 that two
Christian families and one
Muslim family moved the apartments that housed the first refugee
families welcomed by the Vatican in late 2015 and early 2016.

The two
Christian families, the papal almoner’s office said, arrived in March after
“suffering kidnapping and discrimination” because of their faith.

first family is composed of a mother with two adolescent children, a
grandmother, an aunt and another Syrian woman who lives with them,” the
office said.

The second family is a young couple, who had their
first child — a daughter named Stella — shortly after moving into the Vatican
apartment, the Almoner’s Office said. “The mother had been kidnapped for
several months by ISIS and now, in Italy, has regained serenity.”

The third family — a mother, father and two
children — arrived in Italy in February 2016, the office said. The children have been attending
elementary school in Italy while the mother has been attending graduate courses
and currently has an

The Vatican welcomed the refugee families after an appeal made by Pope Francis Sept.
6, 2015, in which
he called on every parish, religious community, monastery and shrine in Europe
to take in a family of refugees, given the ongoing crisis of people fleeing
from war and poverty.

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, said
that aside from providing a home for the three families, the office also
continues to provide financial support to the three Syrian families whom Pope
Francis brought to Italy after his visit last year to the Greek island of
Lesbos and for the nine additional refugees who arrived later.

– – –

Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at

Original Article