Pope Francis, on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan, Monday said Muslim migrants in Italy had the support of the Catholic Church.

"I sent heartfelt greetings to dear Muslim immigrants who, this evening (Monday), will begin the Ramadan fast, and wish them abundant spiritual rewards," Pope Francis said as he held mass on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa.

"The Church is close to you in your search for better lives for yourselves and your families," Francis said.

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