Pope expresses his closeness to people affected by monsoon rains
By Vatican News
The monsoon flood emergency in the southern states of India is not over yet.
New flood alerts were issued in Kerala announcing more heavy rainfall in areas already devastated by the flooding and landslides of the past few days.
Nearly 300 people have been confirmed dead nationwide. More than 1.2 million others have been forced to abandon their homes in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The Pope’s prayer
Following the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis prayed for the victims and the displaced, and for all the families left homeless. “May the Lord give strength to them and to all those who help them”, he said.
Church agencies are working closely with local emergency organizations. Three hundred church institutions have been turned into temporary relief camps in Kerala alone. Meanwhile, India has deployed units of all three branches of the armed forces — army, navy and air force — to work with local relief teams in order to coordinate search and rescue operations.
Rosaries for Syria
Also after the Angelus, Pope Francis blessed around 6,000 rosaries provided by "Aid to the Church in Need", and destined for Catholics in Syria. “They will be distributed to the Catholic communities in Syria”, said the Pope, “as a sign of my closeness, especially to families who have lost someone because of the war. Prayer made with faith is powerful”, he said. “We continue to pray the Rosary for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world”.