Flooding in Slovenia Flooding in Slovenia  (BORUT ZIVULOVIC)

Pope prays for victims of natural disasters in Slovenia, Georgia

Pope Francis appeals for prayers for people affected by recent natural disasters that have afflicted Slovenia and Georgia, and entrusts the Ukrainian people to the protection of St. Edith Stein on her feast day.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis has expressed his closeness to people suffering from catastrophic nautral disasters in Slovenia and Georgia.

During his remarks to Italian-speaking pilgrims at his Wednesday General Audience, the Pope recalled that, in recent days, "dramatic natural phenomena have occurred in Slovenia and Georgia, causing death and material destruction." He said he is praying for victims:

“I pray for the victims and express my spiritual closeness to their families and to all those suffering from these disasters.”

The Pope thanked those who offered them assistance, especially the volunteers.

Over the weekend, Slovenia was struck by record-breaking rainfall. The flooding, which has affected two-thirds of the small European nation, reportedly killed at least six people and left hundreds homeless.

In Georgia, last Thursday, a massive landslide hit a resort area in the country's Shovi mountains, about 140 kilometers northwest of Tbilisi, and killed at least 19 people. 

Aerial photo showing landslide in Georgia
Aerial photo showing landslide in Georgia

Entrusting Ukrainians to Edith Stein

The Pope also turned his attention to Ukraine and the ongoing suffering in the war-torn country.

Recalling that on Wednesday, 9 August, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (St. Edith Stein), martyr and co-patroness of Europe, the Holy Father prayed that "her witness might stimulate commitment to dialogue and fraternity among peoples and against all forms of violence and discrimination."

He entrusted "the dear Ukrainian people" to her intercession:

“To her intercession, we entrust the dear Ukrainian people, that they may soon find peace again.”

The Holy Father concluded by imparting upon all of them his blessing.

Edith Stein
Edith Stein

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09 August 2023, 10:07