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Pope Benedict XVI chose “Migrations: pilgrimage of faith and hope” as the theme for the 2013 celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. On Oct. 29 he issued a message on the global phenomenon of migration. “Faith and hope are inseparable in the hearts of many migrants, who deeply desire a better life and not infrequently try to leave behind the ‘hopelessness’ of an unpromising future,” Pope Benedict wrote. Migration by its nature involves the pain of being uprooted and separated from family, country and possessions, the pope said, but faith and hope allow those who emigrate to face a difficult present if they can believe it will lead to a better future. They are not seeking just to improve their financial, social or political condition, the pope said. People who leave their native countries are hoping to “encounter acceptance, solidarity and help” from those in their new country who can recognize the values and resources they have to offer, he said.

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