June 26, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The Pope arrived by helicopter to Italy's Emilia Romagna region, which has been affected by the recent earthquakes, that killed several people and injured hundreds.
He then boarded a jeep and personally saw the destruction, from fallen debris to damaged buildings. During a brief, but emotional stop, he prayed before the Catherine of Alexandria Church. It's here that priest Ivan Martini died during a recent earthquake, while attempting to rescue a statue inside the church.
Hundreds of people greeted the Pope in the Roverto di Novi square, where the Pope said he actually wanted to visit the area immediately after the earthquakes struck.
Benedict XVI added that he is praying for each person who was affected, especially for the 26 victims who died.
“At this moment, I hope that each one of you, can feel the Pope close to your heart. Not only to comfort you, but mainly to encourage and support you.”
Because of the challenges that still lay ahead, the Pope called on aid agencies to continue their work in the area.
The Pope then personally greeted many of those affected. He also took the time to greet security forces, civil protection employees and all those who are working in restoring the area.