Pope Francis yesterday met 20 women from Nigeria and five other countries who have been freed from prostitution as part of his Holy Year of Mercy activities focusing on communities that have experienced suffering.
The Vatican said the meeting was a call to combat human trafficking, which the pope has defined as “an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ.”
The Vatican said the women from Nigeria, Romania, Albania, Tunisia, Italy and Ukraine had suffered great physical violence and live under protection. Their average age is around 30.
The pope has dedicated Fridays throughout the Holy Year to the suffering, including visiting Syrian refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos and praying silently at the Auschwitz-Birkenau former Nazi death camp.