Order of Malta in the forefront in rescuing and assisting migrants in Lampedusa

2014-05-01 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Over 400 migrants arrived on the Italian Island of Lampedusa on Thursday after having been rescued by the Italian Navy in a series of rescue operations.

They include 83 minors and at least ten new born babies.

The migrants come largely from Eritrea, Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Mali.

The Italian Rescue Corps of the Order of Malta is present on the Island with its medical skills and means to assist in receiving and lending care to those who arrive, often in fragile health and psychological conditions.

Vatican Radio’s Francesca Sabatinelli was in Lampedusa to report on the situation. She spoke to Albrecht von Boeselager, Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta about the work of the men and women of the Order of Malta who are currently working in Lampedusa…

listen to the interview...

The Grand Hospitaller also speaks of the work of the Sovreign Order of Malta in many central African nations like Mali, where - he says - the situation is desperate.

He talks of the committment on the part of the Order to bring relief and assitance to refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict where hostilities have brought about the total breakdown of society in a nation of ancient culture and inter-religious tollerance.

Von Boeselager also speaks of the need to change our perception of those we call "illegal" immigrants - men and women created in the image of God and who should be received and recognised for their dignity of human beings.