ROME—Nine Syrian refugees were flown to Rome by the Vatican on Thursday, adding to the five families that have been relocated to the Italian city. The group, including two Christians, flew from Greece where they were living in the Kara Tepe refugee camp in the island of Lesbos.

The Vatican said Friday that the initiative follows Francis’s five-hour visit to Greece last April, when he brought three Syrian families with him on the way back.

According to a Vatican press statement, the Vatican Police force, known as the Gendarmeria, the Greek Interior Ministry, the Greek Asylum Service, and the Community of Sant’Egidio all played a role in transporting the families from Athens to Rome.

The Community of Sant’Egidio is currently working on an inter-Christian humanitarian corridor connecting Morocco, Lebanon, and Italy in order to provide safe travel and relocation for an estimated 1,000 refugees from Africa and the Middle East threatened by war or famine.

As they did with the other three families brought by Francis, Sant’Egidio will provide housing for the Syrian refugees. Once they’re settled, they will receive further assistance to help make the transition easier.

The first group for instance, received help filling in the migration papers and were enrolled in Italian lessons.

On his way back from Lesbos, asked if his gesture was not really so small as to be insignificant, Pope Francis told reporters that people used to tell Blessed Teresa of Calcutta that what she was doing was meaningless when there was an ocean of need in the world.

“She responded, ‘It’s a drop in the ocean, but after this drop, the ocean won’t be the same,’” the pope said. “I’ll respond the same way. It’s a little gesture. But all of us, men and women, must make these little gestures in order to extend a hand to those in need.”

Europe’s current refugee crisis is considered the worst since the Second World War. According to the International Migration Organization, 2,859 people have died trying to reach Europe in the first six months of 2016, 1,000 more than through the first six months of last year.

According to UNICEF, nine out of 10 refugee and migrant children that have arrived to Europe this year through Italy are unaccompanied, which is why the United Nations agency for children recently issued a warning on the growing threats of abuse, exploitation and death.

Most of the thousands of immigrants arriving to Europe daily through Italy, Greece and Spain, come from northern Africa or the Middle East, fleeing famine, poverty, war and religious persecution.

Since the beginning of the crisis, Francis has supported migrants, making a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the entrance door to many of the refugees arriving to Italy, the first trip of his papacy. The visit to Lesbos was another of the many appeals the pope had made, a son of immigrants himself.

On that visit, he was welcomed by Greek Orthodox Archbishop Ieronymos, and accompanied by Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Together, they visited a refugee camp and said a prayer at the port for the thousands that have died in the last two years trying to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey in rubber boats.

“We have come to call the attention of the world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to plead for resolution,” the pope said as he visited the Moria refugee camp turned detention center after the European Union and Turkey brokered a deal to deport refugees arriving on the Greek islands.

“As people of faith, we wish to join our voices to speak out on your behalf,” he added, appealing for the world to “heed these scenes of tragic and indeed desperate need, and respond in a way worthy of our common humanity.”

On September 2015, Francis asked for every European parish, religious communities and convents to offer shelter and support to at least one refugee family. The Vatican’s two churches, St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Ann’s parish, are hosting one family each.