Nigerian Migrant, Ogah Rewarded By Pope Francis

Nigerian migrant John Francesco Ogah smiles in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday after his baptism by Pope Francis (swipe left for image).

On 26 September 2017, Ogah, while begging for spare change outside the Carrefour market in Rome’s Centocelle neighbourhood, saw a masked thief, armed with a meat cleaver, trying to make off with €400 he had stolen from the cashiers.

With nothing more than his bare hands, security cameras captured Ogah confronting the thief, and holding him by the collar until police arrived.

Ogah then disappeared, fearing he would be deported because he didn’t have his papers in order. But the police authorities in Rome sought to reward his courage and within a month had given him a coveted Italian residency permit that had been denied him when his asylum bid failed.

He now has a job with the Italian Red Cross and a place to call home.

Pope Francis opened the festivities with a Tweet to his global flock: “Our faith is born on Easter morning: Jesus is alive!”

He then delivered his “Urbi et Orbi” message (“to the city and the world”) message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Francis called for peace in a world marked by war and conflict, “beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria,” and extending to the entire Middle East, the Korean peninsula and parts of Africa affected by “hunger, endemic conflicts and terrorism.”

The Pope reflected on the power of Christianity’s core belief – that Jesus rose from the dead following crucifixion.

The pontiff said the message of the resurrection offers hope in a world “marked by so many acts of injustice and violence.”

“It bears fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment; where there are migrants and refugees, so often rejected by today’s culture of waste, and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery,” the Pope said.

He called for a “swift end” to carnage in Syria, demanding that aid be delivered to the needy there and calling for “fitting conditions for the returned and the displaced”.

The Pope also urged reconciliation in Israel and hoped that mutual respect would “prevail over divisions” in Yemen and the entire Middle East.

Nigerian migrant John Francesco Ogah smiles in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday after his baptism by Pope Francis (swipe left for image). On 26 September 2017, Ogah, while begging for spare change outside the Carrefour market in Rome’s Centocelle neighbourhood, saw a masked thief, armed with a meat cleaver, trying to make off with €400 he had stolen from the cashiers. With nothing more than his bare hands, security cameras captured Ogah confronting the thief, and holding him by the collar until police arrived. Ogah then disappeared, fearing he would be deported because he didn’t have his papers in order. But the police authorities in Rome sought to reward his courage and within a month had given him a coveted Italian residency permit that had been denied him when his asylum bid failed. He now has a job with the Italian Red Cross and a place to call home. Photo credit: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters #Easter #PaulOgah #Italy #RedCross #Nigerian #Hero #Migrant #Pope #PopeFrancis #Rome #Vatican #TheGuardianNg

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