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Pope postpones General Audience speech and dedicates it to victims of quake near Rome

2016-08-24

Pope Francis postpones his General Audience catechesis in light of the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that has devastated the central regions of Italy in the region of Umbria and Lazio as early as 3:30 a.m., local Rome time today. Shocks were also felt 170 kilometers away in Rome.

At least 73 people are dead and others are reportedly still trapped under rubble after the devastating earthquake destroyed the historic buildings. The worst-hit towns were Amatrice, and Accumoli, with the epicenter in Norcia.


SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH

"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." 

"Join me in prayerso that the Lord might console the broken-hearted, and, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, bring them peace. With Jesus,” Pope Francis concluded, "let our hearts be moved with compassion.”

"I had prepared the catechesis for today, as for all Wednesdays during this year of mercy, focusing on the closeness of Jesus. However on 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.
"I also express my condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and my spiritual support to those who are anxious and afraid. Hearing the mayor of Amatrice say that the town no longer exists, and learning that there are children among the dead, I am deeply saddened.

"For this reason, 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.

"And thanking all the volunteer and rescue personnel who are assisting these people, I ask you to join me in praying to the Lord Jesus, Who is always moved by compassion before the reality of human suffering, that He may console the broken hearted, and through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, bring them peace."With Jesus let our hearts be moved with compassion.
"So we will postpone, then, this week’s catechesis until next Wednesday, and I invite you to pray with me a part of the holy Rosary, the sorrowful mysteries.” 


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