HAITI – Pope offers prayer and support for hurricane victims
Pope Francis has sent a telegram expressing his “deep sympathy in these painful circumstances” and assuring his prayer and spiritual closeness to all those affected by hurricane Matthew, particularly in Haiti.
“Learning of the devastation wrought by hurricane Matthew, which has caused numerous victims and considerable damage, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to express his sorrow and assures his prayer for all those who have lost a loved one,” the telegram read.
“He conveys to them his sincerest condolences and assures them of his deep sympathy in these painful circumstances. He entrusts the departed to the mercy of God, that He welcome them in His light. He assures them of his spiritual closeness and his affection for the injured, and for all those who have lost their homes and possessions in the disaster. Welcoming and encouraging solidarity in this new hardship the country must face, the Holy Father entrusts all Haitians to the maternal protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and imparts to them, as a sign of consolation and hope, a special apostolic blessing.”
The telegram was signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and addressed to Cardinal Chibly Langlois, president of the Haitian Bishops Conference.
Hurricane Matthew was the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade with winds reaching 120mph. It devastated Haiti, which is still trying to recover from the catastrophic earthquake that destroyed much of the country in 2010. The death toll in Haiti is over 1000 with dozens also reported killed in nearby Caribbean islands and southern US. Several thousand people were left homeless as villages were wiped out by the category three storm.