Pope Francis greets a woman after blessing her as he toured around the Plaza de Armas, in Trujillo, Peru, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Francis consoled Peruvians who lost their homes and livelihoods in devastating floods last year, telling them Saturday they can overcome all of life's "storms" by coming together as a community and stamping out the violence that plagues this part of the country. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP Pool Photo via AP)

Pope greets prisoners at residence in Peru
(Associated Press) - January 22, 2018 - 8:00am

LIMA — The Latest on Pope Francis' visit to Peru (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

Pope Francis has had a special group of visitors call on him at the Vatican's residence in Peru: four prisoners who were released for a brief spell to greet him.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the three men and one woman came from prisons in Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cuzco and Castro.

The greeting took place before Francis presided over a morning prayer yesterday with hundreds of contemplative and cloistered nuns at the Lord of Miracles sanctuary, which features an icon of Christ that survived a devastating earthquake in 1655 and is revered by many Peruvians.

Francis urged them to dedicate their prayers to those who are "thrown away" by society, including prisoners, migrants and drug addicts.

He told them: "By your prayers you can heal the wounds of many."

Francis frequently meets with prisoners during his foreign trips and visited a women's prison in Santiago, Chile on his seven-day trip to that country and Peru. He uses the meetings to encourage those deprived of their freedom to not lose hope.

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