Pope Francis met with Mr. Abdullah Kurdi, who lost his family in a shipwreck off the Turkish coast in September 2015 while they were trying to reach Europe. An image of Mr. Kurdi’s son, Alan, lying dead in the sand, shocked and awakened consciences around the world to the plight of refugees, especially those, who, like Kurdi’s family, were fleeing Syria’s civil war.
A statement from the Press office of the Holy See said the Pope spent “a long time” with Mr. Kurdi, listening to him as he spoke — through an interpreter — of his pain at the loss of his family.
The statement went on to say that Pope Francis expressed “his profound participation and that of the Lord in the man’s suffering.”
Mr. Kurdi expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for his words of closeness “to his tragedy and to that of all those migrants who seek understanding, peace and security, leaving their country at the risk of their lives.”