As a concrete sign of Pope’s closeness to people affected by the earthquake, a team of six members of the Vatican Firemen Corps has arrived to Amatrice, in the province of Rieti, this morning. The team is already working, according to the Italian Civil Protection, in the search and assistance to the victims.
Yesterday morning the Pope called the bishop of Rieti, Mons. Domenico Pompili, who was on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. As soon as he heard about the earthquake, he went back to his diocese. “At 7 a.m. – says the bishop – I got a call from Pope Francis. He informed me that he had learned about the earthquake at 4:15 a.m. and that he immediately celebrated Mass, praying for the people involved. He invited me not to be afraid, and said other words of closeness and encouragement, which I will bring to the population”.
From St. Peter’s Square, the Pope expressed his sorrow and his closeness to the people affected by the strong earthquake that shook central Italy, in particular the area on the border area between Lazio, Marche and Umbria, with its epicenter in Accumoli. Faced with this tragedy, Francis postponed the customary Wednesday catechesis to pray the rosary with the present pilgrims.
The Pontiff has not forgotten to thank those who are working hard these ours to help the affected populations: all the volunteers and the civil protection. Inviting the faithful to pray the Rosary in St. Peter’s Square, with the painful and not the glorious mysteries, although it was Wednesday. He concluded asking for union: “Let us be moved together with Jesus.” The pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square appreciated the choice of the Pope to pray the rosary for those affected by the earthquake.