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Vatican said on Friday that it has given shelter to a Syrian refugee family of four and would help them apply for asylum in Italy.

The Office of Papal Charities said in Vatican City that the decision to take in the two children and their parents followed a Sept. 6 appeal from Pope Francis that each European Catholic parish should take in a migrant family, including the two parishes contained within Vatican walls.

The office said the refugees, members of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, came from Damascus and entered Italy on the same day the pope made his plea.

It disclosed that they are being hosted in an apartment near St Peter’s Basilica.

The Vatican department which administered the pope’s private charity fund said the refugees would be looked after until their asylum claims were processed.

The department also begged the media to respect their privacy.

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