On a cold night, three years ago a boat filled with refugees trying to reach Europe capsized off the coast of Lampedusa. Three hundred and eleven people perished. Moved by the loss of life, carpenter Francesco Tuccio made the Lampedusa Cross and offered this simple, handmade cross to the survivors of the disaster as a sign of hope.
Pope Francis carried a cross at a memorial service visiting the site of the tragedy stating that “We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion”.
Refugee boats have continued to land and sink off the coast of Lampedusa; the crosses now in cathedrals across England and Wales, are made from wreckage of these boats.
The Lampedusa Cross will be housed at Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral here in Bristol, where it will remain. Stationed near the cross will be candles which can be lit in solidarity, and information on how parishes can contact the local CAFOD Clifton office to loan a smaller version of the cross to hold their own ‘pilgrimage’ (like a Stations of the Cross) event at their parish. Cards of solidarity to write a message of hope for all refugees are available from the Cathedral, and also within the pilgrimage pack from CAFOD. These will be collected by CAFOD and shared with Refugees across the world
If you would like to host the smaller Lampedusa Cross in your parish for a time and hold a pilgrimage event, then please email Liz Baldwin at the CAFOD office at firstname.lastname@example.org