The Pope welcomed 16 non-resident ambassadors to the Vatican's Clementine Hall and one by one, they presented their credentials before Pope Francis. Different cultures and even languages, came together to represent their country before the Holy See. The Pope, even got to practice his French.
"Thank you very much. I hope you have a great visit. Please pray for me.”
Then he spoke his native Spanish.
"It's a pleasure to meet you. I hope you feel at home.”
Just months away from the Pope's trip to the Holy Land, Palestine's ambassador, Amad Rashid, also presented his credentials.
Palestine's Ambassador to the Holy See
"Your Holiness, I'm honored to give you my credentials on behalf of the Holy Land and the Palestinian people. It' a pleasure.”
Among the diplomats were ambassadors from Jordan, Kuwait, Sweden, Pakistan, Malta, Sierra Leone, Norway and Denmark. The Pope called on all of them to help stop human trafficking, adding that governments have the power to prevent it.
"All people of good will, whether they profess a religion or not, cannot allow women, men or children to be treated like objects. They're deceived, abused, often times sold for different purposes, but in the end they're killed or perhaps left damaged physically and mentally. They're finally discarded and abandoned. It's a disgrace!”
The Pope described human trafficking as a crime against humanity. He called on all ambassadors to join forces to prevent it, adding it's not just a matter of justice, security or finances. Above all else, he said it's about human dignity.
"Christians recognize the face of Jesus, who identified with the smallest and the neediest among us.”
The Pope then added that human trafficking is not only modern slavery but also a global problem that affects all countries, even the most developed.