June 20, 2021
Sr. Rita Levasseur – Vice President, Mission, Holy Cross Health, Fort Lauderdale
World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.
World Refugee Day shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees. These brothers and sisters of ours are trying to escape difficult situations to find safety and peace. They are looking for a better place for themselves and their families. How often do such people fail to find understanding, fail to find acceptance and fail to find solidarity? Before arriving at their refuge, they often find themselves at the mercy of traffickers, people who exploit them and people who live off the misery of others. Some of them never make it. I invite you to take time to reflect how you can be in solidarity with refugees especially in your communities. How can you be a voice for them?
Let us pray in solidarity with all refugees by praying together this prayer Pope Francis wrote for World Refugee Day.
Lord Jesus, you were once a stranger in a new land, whose family sought safety and refuge. Together we remember and ask you to hold all those who have been driven from and are fleeing their homes.
Enliven in us your welcoming spirit, that we make seek to wholly and open heartedly receive those most in need. Give us courage to advocate for refugees around the world and to help create new homes for them in our own communities.
Be a source of strength for those without their homes, A solid and secure ground for those feeling unsafe, unsettled and unwelcomed. Console them in their time of need, giving solace during a time of great fear and desperation. Keep us from our own fear, that we may only see your face in those seeking refuge. Deliver us all into your mercy that we may share that mercy and love with your beloved children.
In your name we pray. Amen