Italian Red Cross meets with Pope Francis

A Tribute to Human Dignity and Dedication in Facing Global Challenges: Testimonies, Commemorations, and Commitment at the Vatican Audience

On April 6th, a flow of six thousand volunteers from all corners of Italy poured out their affection towards Pope Francis. This collective embrace was a tribute to the solidarity embodied by the volunteers of the Italian Red Cross, who tirelessly strive to alleviate human suffering every day. This massive participation represents just a fraction of the 150 thousand men and women of the Italian Red Cross who work tirelessly, placing human dignity and the seven fundamental Principles of the Movement at the core of their mission.

The President of the Italian Red Cross, Rosario Valastro, introduced the event at the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican with words reflecting the organization’s ongoing commitment to facing multiple challenges. He emphasized the assistance provided to vulnerable individuals, addressing issues such as poverty, migration, loneliness among the elderly, and humanitarian emergencies. Additionally, Valastro highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness and prevention, as well as adapting to new technologies and societal changes.

During the meeting, volunteers shared testimonies regarding the recent challenges faced by the Italian Red Cross, ranging from managing the pandemic to responding to natural disasters such as the flood in Emilia Romagna. Broader issues such as the reception of migrants in Lampedusa, the crisis in Ukraine, and support activities for the population in the Gaza Strip were also discussed.

A moment of silent commemoration was dedicated to the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic and the volunteers who lost their lives in their rescue efforts. In particular, solidarity was expressed to the families of the victims of the earthquake in L’Aquila on April 6, 2009, with heartfelt thanks to the volunteers who dedicated themselves to rescue and support those affected by that tragedy.

In addition to President Rosario Valastro, the members of the National Board of Directors of the Italian Red Cross were present at the audience, including Vice Presidents Debora Diodati and Edoardo Italia, as well as other councillors Adriano De Nardis and Antonio Calvano. Among the other participants in the ceremony were Mercedes Babé, President of the Permanent Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Maria Teresa Bellucci, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policies, and Francesco Rocca, President of the Lazio Region.


  • Italian Red Cross press release
You might also like