Pope Francis has sent his almoner or alms giver to the southern Italian island of Ischia to show his closeness with the people hit by an earthquake last August, the Office of Papal Charities said in a note on Monday. The Pope’s official almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski has been sent to Ischia in the name of the Holy Father to carry his comfort and greetings but especially to participate in a concrete way to support the population of the place in collaboration with the diocesan bishop.
With this gesture ahead of Christmas, the Pontiff, mindful of the Holy Family in search of an accommodation in Bethlehem and later fleeing to Egypt, “wishes to be close to nearly 2500 people displaced from their homes because of the earthquake of August 21, 2017,” said the Office of Papal Charities, that is charged with exercising charity to the poor in the name of the Holy Father.
The 4.0 magnitude quake struck the municipalities of Casamicciola Terme, Lacco Ameno e Forio of Ischia in the evening of Aug. 2. A town of some 50,000 people, the island the coast of Naples is popular with tourists, many of whom were out in bars and restaurants at the time of the quake.
Four months after the Aug. 21 earthquake struck Ischia, Pope Francis has sent his almoner with his comfort to the community that is still suffering from the consequences of the quake, Bishop Pietro Lagnese of Ischia told Vatican News. Arch. Krajewski arrived in Ischia on Dec. 17, the day the Pope celebrated his 81 birthday, and Bishop Lagnese said they are grateful for it as they continue to feel the Pope’s touch.