Pope Francis has paid a special visit to a “village” for prisoners, in Bolivia, where children and spouses of the inmates also reside.
The Pope called in at the Palmasola rehabilitation centre in Bolivia on Friday on the final day of his second leg in a three-nation visit to Latin America.
He began by introducing himself in a way in which the residents of the center could better relate to him.
“The man standing before you is a man who has experienced forgiveness,” he said. “A man who was, and is, saved from his many sins. That is who I am. I don’t have much more to give you or to offer you, but I want to share with you what I do have and what I love. It is Jesus Christ, the mercy of the Father.”
After listening to personal testimonies about their life in Palmasola from, Pope Francis went on to speak to them about St. Peter’s experience of imprisonment, and the power of prayer and Jesus’ love for them. He also called them to personal responsibility during their detainment, telling them: “the way you live together depends to some extent on yourselves.”
“Help one another,” he said. “Do not be afraid to help one another. The devil wants quarrels, rivalry, division, gangs. Don’t let him play with you. Keep working to make progress, together.”