Pope expresses closeness to Ecuador as floods devastate the country
By Vatican News staff writer
Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow for the deaths of over 27 people from flooding that hit Quito, Ecuador, on 31 January, and prayed to God for the repose of the dead and the consolation of their families.
The Pope conveyed his closeness to the people of Quito in a telegram sent on his behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to the Archbishop of Quito, Monsignor Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus.
"The Holy Father, deeply saddened to learn of the natural disasters that are striking this beloved nation and that have caused so many victims and material damage, offers fervent suffrages for the eternal repose of the deceased," reads the message.
Similarly, it continues, Pope Francis "prays the Lord to grant consolation to the relatives and all those who are suffering at this time of pain and uncertainty, and to support with his graces all those who are engaged in the search for the missing and in the arduous process of rebuilding the devastated areas".
Finally, the Holy Father extended his prayer to the Virgin of the Presentation of El Quinche so that "she may intercede before her Son Jesus Christ for all the sons and daughters of Ecuador affected by this catastrophe", and at the same time he imparted "with affection the comforting apostolic blessing, as a sign of spiritual closeness".