Vatican City, 10 September 2013 (VIS) – Today at 3.30 p.m. the Holy Father will make a private visit to the Centro Astalli in Rome, the Italian seat of the Jesuit Refugee Service. This Centre currently admits 700 refugees from different parts of the world, among whom there are some Syrian families forced to flee their homes due to the current conflict.

Francis will meet with three hundred refugees in the Church of Jesus in Rome, where he will visit the tomb of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, who founded the Jesuit Refugee Service in 1981 and who was superior general of the Company of Jesus at that time. The Holy Father will then transfer to the dining hall of the Centre where he will meet with another four hundred refugees.

The Centro Astalli Foundation was established in 2000, with the main aim of helping to promote a culture of welcome and solidarity, beginning with the protection of human rights.