June 24th 2020

Pope Francis has expressed support for the thousands of mariners who are keeping the supply lines open in the face of the pandemic, and in particular for those who are stranded aboard their vessels due to the breakdown in the crew change process.

“These are difficult times for the world because we are dealing with the suffering caused by the coronavirus,” Pope Francis said in a videotaped address.

“Your work as mariners and fishermen has become even more important since it is providing our greater human family with food and other essential needs.”

“For this, we are grateful to you.”

“Over the course of recent months, your lives and your work have changed dramatically. You have had to make, and are continuing to make, many sacrifices: long periods spent aboard ships without being able to set foot on land; separation from families, friends and your home country; fear of infection.”

“All these things are a heavy burden to bear, now more than ever… Know that you are not alone and that you are not forgotten.”

“Your work at sea keeps you far away from me, but you are in my prayers and in my thoughts.”

“Today I want to send you a message and a prayer of hope, comfort and solace in the face of adversity.”

“May God bless each one of you, and bless your work and your families.”

“I bless you and pray for you as well. And please don’t forget to pray for me.”

Pope Francis’s message of support was posted by Maritime Executive at: