Pope Francis Praises Colombia For Initiative Granting Venezuelan Migrants Legal Status

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Currents News Staff

“Dear brothers and sisters, good morning. The square is so beautiful with the sun! How beautiful!” said the Holy Father.

His greeting was heartfelt. This was the second time in 2021 that Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims. The weather was better than the first time. The pontiff has felt the lack of contact between him and pilgrims throughout the pandemic.

From a window of the apostolic palace, he praised the president of Colombia’s initiative to help immigrants. Iván Duque proposed a statute to provide 10 years of protection so undocumented immigrants from Venezuela can obtain legal status. There are an estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants from Venezuela in Colombia.

“This is not being done by a very rich, super developed country,” said Pope Francis. “No. It is being done by a country with many problems: of development, of poverty, of peace. Nearly 70 years of guerrilla war. But with this problem, they have had the courage to look at those migrants and make this statute. Thank you, Colombia. Thank you.”

The pontiff also said a few words about St. Valentine’s Day, which was being celebrated worldwide.

“And I cannot fail today, on St. Valentine’s Day, to extend a thought and greeting to couples, to those who are in love,” he said. “I accompany you with my prayer, and I bless you.”

Before concluding, the Holy Father reminded the faithful that Lent begins this Wednesday. He suggested taking advantage of this time to foster faith and hope during the current crisis.