“I think of many fathers, many mothers and many families that flee war, who are rejected at the borders of Europe and elsewhere, who experience situations of suffering and injustice and who no one takes seriously or willingly ignores,” he told Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano.
“I would like to say to these fathers, to these mothers, that for me they are heroes because I see in them the courage of those who risk their lives for love of their children, for love of their family.”
The Argentine pontiff, 85, is outspoken in his calls for support and understanding for migrants and asylum seekers.
He added: “I feel very close to the suffering of those families, of those fathers and mothers who are experiencing particular difficulty, worsened above all due to the (coronavirus) pandemic.”
“I think that not being able to feed one’s children, feeling the responsibility for the life of others, is suffering that is not easy to face. In this regard, my prayers, my closeness but also all the support of the Church is for these people, for these least ones,” he said.