VATICAN CITY — Christians are called to follow the spirit of the beatitudes by comforting the poor and the oppressed, especially migrants and refugees who are rejected, exploited and left to die, Pope Francis said. The least ones, “who have been thrown away, marginalized, oppressed, discriminated against, abused, exploited, abandoned, poor and suffering” cry out to God, “asking to be freed from the evils that afflict them,” the pope said in his homily July 8 during a Mass commemorating the sixth anniversary of his visit to the southern Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. “They are persons; these are not mere social or migrant issues. This is not just about migrants, in the twofold sense that migrants are, first of all, human persons and that they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society,” he said. According to the Vatican, an estimated 250 migrants, refugees and rescue volunteers attended the Mass, which was celebrated at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis greeted each person present after the Mass ended.