May 19, 2016
Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio makes rough crosses from the wreckage of boats carrying refugees that sank off the island of Lampedusa to offer to survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope. Here, Francesco explains what motivated him to act.
In 2009, refugees started landing on the coast of Lampedusa. We, as residents, got to know the people, the victims and their families. I felt angry that no one was caring about so many tragedies and losses. It was a real injustice.
We were on the front line to help: to welcome refugees, feed them and treat them with respect. I got the impression that for the media they were second-class citizens not worth of attention, not even worth being mentioned in the papers.
I had never witnessed so much suffering in all my life. To see people going through so much pain, seeing mothers losing their children or a husband was very hard. It is difficult to describe how I felt when faced with so many tragedies.
So, as a Catholic inspired by the suffering Jesus Christ went through on the cross, I wanted to create crosses to give hope and a better future to those who were suffering so much. This action has been appreciated by so many people.