Pope Francis Reunites With Syrian Refugee He Rescued From Lesbos

On February 17, Pope Francis met with students and the faculty of the Roma Tre University in Rome. While at the university, the pontiff was also reunited with one of the Syrian refugees who he brought back to Italy with him after having visited the migrant hotspot and refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos back in April of 2016.

The refugee, Nour Essa, was resettled in Rome along with her husband and child, thanks to the Pope. “Our lives changed in a day thanks to you,” she told Pope Francis.

Nour recently won a government scholarship to finish her biology studies at Sant’Egidio community, a Catholic charity which helps refugees settle and adjust to their new lives.

The Pope, who was at Roma Tre University to speak about the need for the integration of Syrian refugees who are seeking asylum throughout Europe said that “Migration isn’t a danger, it’s a challenge to grow.”

He spoke of the refugees, stressing that when they are integrated into society, they contribute and everyone learns from one another.

“They bring to us a culture, a culture that is rich for us. And also they have to receive our culture and there has to be an exchange of cultures,” he underlined.