Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Quote of the Day

“I thought long and hard in the first days of these many pains that my visit, perhaps, would be more of a hindrance than a help, a greeting. I didn’t want to be a bother so I let a little time pass, so that some things could be resolved, like the school. But from the first moment, I felt that I needed to come to you! Simply to express my closeness to you, nothing more. And I pray, pray for you! Solidarity and prayer: this is my offering to you.

May the Lord bless you all; may Our Lady watch over you in this moment of sadness, pain, and trial.... Let’s move forward; there is always a future. There are many loved ones who have left us, who fell here under the rubble. Let us pray to Our Lady for them; let us do it together. Always look ahead.

Corraggio, and help each other. One walks better together – alone we go nowhere. Avanti! Thank you.
–Pope Francis
Amatrice, Rieti
4 October 2016
Five weeks since a 6.2 magnitude earthquake 60 miles from Rome killed some 300 people – leaving destroyed villages and thousands with no home but a tent – the Pope got his wish on this St Francis' Day, making a visit "alone" to the area, all of 48 hours after hinting to his traveling press-pool that it likely wouldn't happen until later in the Fall.

Highlighting the risk of a journey most of the usual papal crew only learned of once Papa Bergoglio had arrived by car in the quake-zone, yet another aftershock hit during the trek.

Along the way, after stopping in silent prayer at the worst sites of damage, Francis spent several hours meeting first responders, the injured in hospitals, relatives of the dead and survivors still stranded in makeshift shelters.