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Pope Francis will celebrate a special “Mass for Migrants” this Friday at the main altar of Saint Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his visit to migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, released a statement on the Vatican’s website alerting people to the Mass in support of migrants, which “will be a moment of prayer for the deceased, for survivors and for those who assist them.”

Mr. Burke said that some 200 people are expected to be present at the event, “including refugees and people who take care of them.”

The article goes on to state the following:

In recent months, the Pope has launched a full-court press on behalf of migrants in the hopes of bringing about a “change in mindset” regarding immigration, insisting in a recent message that migrants do not pose a threat to society but are, rather, an enrichment.

“This demands a change in mindset,” he said. “We must move from considering others as threats to our comfort to valuing them as persons whose life experience and values can contribute greatly to the enrichment of our society.”

“For this to happen, our basic approach must be to encounter the other, to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her,” he added.

The pope’s support for free-flowing immigration has placed him on a collision course with populist leaders who are moving to stem the tide of international mass migration.

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