Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic church postponed this week’s catechesis in honour of the victims of the earthquake that struck Central Italy on Wednesday, the death toll is reported to have hit 120.
The catechesis is a prepared oral religious instructions delivered by the Pope every Wednesday to the Catholic faithful at the St. Peters’ Square. In place of the catechesis, the Pope implored the faithful with recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary.
Speaking during the general audience on Wednesday, the Pope said he had decided to postpone the week’s catechesis till next week and rather focus on praying to console the broken-hearted, the afflicted and others who are anxious and afraid.
Hearing of the news of the earthquake that has struck central Italy, and which has devastated entire areas and left many wounded, I cannot fail to express my heartfelt sorrow and spiritual closeness to all those present in the zones afflicted.
‘’… hearing of the news of the earthquake that has struck central Italy, and which has devastated entire areas and left many wounded, I cannot fail to express my heartfelt sorrow and spiritual closeness to all those present in the zones afflicted,’‘ Pope Francis said.
He added that he was deeply saddened by the death of children and by news that the town of Amatrice, according to its mayor did not exist due to the level of devastation. He pledged spiritual support of the Vatican for all affected areas.
‘‘I want to assure all the people of Accumuli, Amatrice, the Diocese of Rieti, Ascoli Piceno, and all the people of Lazio, Umbria, and Le Marche, of the prayers and close solidarity of the entire Church, who in these moments extends her merciful love, as well as the concern of all of us here in the Piazza,’‘ he added.
Pope sends six firefighters to Amatrice – Vatican Radio
Meanwhile, reports from the Vatican indicate that the Pope had sent a team of six firefighters from the Vatican City State to Amatrice, the city that was worst affected by the quake.
‘‘A statement from the Holy See’s Press Office said the six firefighters would help Italy’s Civil Protection workers search for survivors still under the rubble and assist those already rescued,’‘ Vatican Radio reported.