By Vatican News
Ten years after the deadly quake that struck the Italian city of L’Aquila, Pope Francis has written to residents of the community to assure them of his accompaniment, as they “undertake the arduous journey of rebuilding” their communities.
Calling to mind the 309 people who were killed, and the more than 1600 people wounded in the quakes, the Holy Father says, “I pray for all the victims of that tragedy”.
Pope Francis was responding to a letter sent by the Archbishop of L’Aquila, Cardinal Giuseppe Petrocchi, on behalf of the people of the city. On the eve of the anniversary, Cardinal Petrocchi celebrated a Mass for the victims of the disaster, before leading a vigil of prayer with all the citizens.
May the Risen Lord give light and strength
In his own letter, Pope Francis expresses the hope that “the Risen Lord” might give to all the people of L’Aquila “the light and the strength to make your church and social community more united and creative”. He continues, “May he make you courageous witnesses as you industriously apply the law, work actively together, and assist one another in friendship”.
The letter closes with a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she might accompany and bless everyone with affection.