Search

A man sits amid the ruins of his home in Mayfield, Kentucky A man sits amid the ruins of his home in Mayfield, Kentucky 

Pope laments deadly US storms, prays for victims

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Americans in central and southern parts of the United States who were affected by deadly storms over the weekend.

By Devin Watkins

As the death toll continues to rise in the wake of deadly storms over the weekend, Pope Francis renewed his condolences to those affected.

He had already sent his thoughts and prayers for the tragedy on Sunday at the Sunday Angelus address.

On Monday, the Pope sent a telegram—signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin—to Archbishop José Gomez, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Pope expressed his sadness at learning of the devastating tornadoes which have killed around 100 people, though that toll could rise further as rescue operations continue.

‘Immense tragedy’

Pope Francis offered his “heartfelt prayers that Almighty God will grant eternal peace to those who have died, comfort to those who mourn their loss, and strength to all those affected by this immense tragedy.”

He also sent his gratitude to rescue and healthcare personnel, and to “all engaged in caring for the injured, the grieving families, and those left homeless”.

The Pope concluded the telegram invoking “upon all engaged in the massive work of relief and rebuilding the Lord’s gifts of strength and generous perseverance in the service of their brothers and sisters.”

Deadliest tornados in Kentucky’s history

Deadly storms ripped through five US states on Saturday, leaving at least 14 people dead in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.

But Kentucky was the hardest hit, with fears that over 100 could have died there. A tornado struck a candle factory in the city of Mayfield with dozens of workers inside.

Forty people were rescued from the factory, but many others remained missing or were confirmed dead on Monday.

Kentucky’s governor said this was the most devastating tornado event to ever strike the state.

13 December 2021, 12:05