There’s a reason everyone seems to like Pope Francis.
Yesterday, for example, the pope held a meeting of refugees and a mixture of leaders from different faiths as part of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi.
And he invited a group of refugees to join him for lunch. The youngest refugee at the lunch was a 6-year-old named Mari who is originally from Damascus and made it to Italy four months ago, stopping first in Turkey.
“Up until now she has only known fear,” her father, Mohanad, told the Italian news agency ANSA. “She has not lived a childhood like all the others. She has only known war.”
The civil war in Syria has been going on for five years—the majority of Maria’s young life.
One of the children who flew to Italy with the pope earlier this year, 8-year-old Qudus, was asked to make a public appeal for peace at the lunch.
“The world is at war. The world is suffering,” Francis said at the Vatican.
He urged “all men and women of goodwill, of any religion, to pray for peace.”