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Pope to join prayer vigil for innocent victims of Mafia
20 March 2014 13:00 by Robert Mickens

Pope Francis has given a huge spiritual boost to some 1,600 anti-Mafia organisations in Italy as they prepare to mark the country’s nineteenth annual “Day of Remembrance and Commitment” on Saturday.

The Pope is to join in a prayer vigil tomorrow night with some 700 people whose innocent relatives were killed by organised crime networks in recent years.

The gathering at the San Gregorio VII parish close to the Vatican was organised by “Libera” (Free), an anti-Mafia association founded by Fr Luigi Ciotti. “[The Pope’s] willingness to accompany family members in this moment that is so painful, and yet also full of hope, is a sign of his attention and sensitivity,” the priest said.

The 700 at the vigil represent an estimated 15,000 Italians who have seen an innocent loved one murdered by the Mafia.