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Pope Francis prays for victims of chemical explosions in China

2015-08-17

Pope Francis prayed the Angelus this Saturday, to mark the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It's the first time in 60 years that this special Angelus was prayed in St. Peter's Square. It's traditionally celebrated at Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence for Popes.

Despite the rain, and the unusual schedule, St. Peter's Square was still filled with pilgrims who prayed alongside the Pope.

Our Lady was "the great believer,” Pope Francis explained to the crowd.

POPE FRANCIS
"Our life, seen in the light of Mary assumed into Heaven, is not a senseless wandering. Instead, it is a pilgrimage, even with all its uncertainties and suffering, that has a sure destination: the house of the Father, who waits for us with love.”

He said that what God did with the Virgin Mary sends a message to all Christians. And that message is a promise.

POPE FRANCIS
"The Gospel also shows us the true reason for the greatness of Mary and her bliss: the reason is faith. Faith is the heart of Mary's story. She is the believer, the great believer.”

Later, Pope Francis also took time to pray for and to remember the victims of two recent chemical explosions in China

POPE FRANCIS
"I send my prayers to those who have lost their lives and for those people who have been affected by this catastrophe. May the Lord give relief and support to those who are dedicated to alleviating their suffering.” 

Before leaving, the Pope recommended to the pilgrims that they pray at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The basilica houses the Mary Salus Populi Romani icon. Pope Francis is known to have a great devotion to Mary.


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