Pictured right: Pope Francis blesses a nun of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity during the audience for workers and volunteers of mercy at the Vatican
Pictured right: A sick child greets Pope Francis during the weekly audience in Paul VI at the Vatican
Pictured right: Pope Francis is greeted by the faithful at Blonia Park during World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
Visit with Muslim scholar
After five years of silence, Pope Francis met with the Grand Imam of the renowned Al-Azhar mosque and university in Egypt on May 23. Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib and the pontiff met at the Vatican to promote inter-religious dialogue and peace. Talks between the head of the important Sunni Muslim mosque and university had been discontinued in 2011 after a speech by Pope Benedict XVI which linked Islam and violence. “Our meeting is the message,” Pope Francis told the Grand Imam as he greeted him.
Visiting refugee detention center on Greek island of Lesbos
“Europe today faces one of its most serious humanitarian crises since the end of the Second World War,” states a declaration signed by Pope Francis and two leading Greek Orthodox churchmen. These three religious leaders met at a port in Lesbos, Greece to pray for all those seeking refuge, and to encourage political leaders to work toward ensuring all individuals have the freedom to remain in their own homelands. After the meeting, the pontiff returned to Italy with 12 refugees, including six children.
Right: Washing the feet of refugees – At the Reception Center for Asylum Seekers outside Rome on Holy Thursday, Pope Francis washed the feet of refugees, and spoke to nearly 1,000 migrants and volunteers about the importance of living in peace as children of the same God.
Right: Pope Francis gestures while wearing a Sombrero given to him by someone in the crowd on Zocalo Square in Mexico City.
Pope Francis visited Mexico from Feb. 12–17, during which he brought a message of solidarity with the victims of drug violence, human trafficking and discrimination to some of that country's most violent and poverty-stricken regions.
Right: Pope Francis meets themembers of aquatic circus at the end of his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, January 27, 2016.
Pictured right: Pope Francis kisses a child as he visits the refugee camp of Saint Sauveur in the capital of Bangul, Central African Republic.