VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for those stricken by Hurricane Matthew.
Addressing pilgrims and faithful at the Sunday Angelus, on the day marking the Marian Jubilee of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis said: “I learned with sorrow of the serious consequences caused by the hurricane which in recent days hit the Caribbean, especially Haiti, leaving many victims and displaced persons, as well as substantial property damage. I assure my closeness to the people and express confidence in the sense of solidarity of the international community, of Catholic institutions and people of good will.”
“I invite you to join me in prayer for these brothers and sisters, so sorely tried,” he said.
On Sunday, epic rainfall totals were being recorded in North Carolina from Matthew’s devastating flooding. Officials announced on Sunday that the storm killed at least 7 people in the state, and 15 overall in the U.S.
Pope Francis also remembered the beatification on Saturday in Oviedo, Spain of Fr. Gennaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay companions. “We praise the Lord,” he said, “for these heroic witnesses of the faith, who join the ranks of the martyrs that have given their lives in the name of Christ.”
Finally, to pilgrims and faithful who participated in the Marian Jubilee, the pope said: “I address my most cordial greetings to you all, dear pilgrims, who have participated in this Marian Jubilee. Thank you for your presence! With you I would like to repeat the words that St. John Paul II pronounced on October 8, 2000, in the Jubilee Act of Entrustment to Mary: ‘O Mother … we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us. Humanity … can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble.’”
“At this junction,” he concluded, “may the Virgin help us to choose life, by welcoming and practicing the gospel of Christ the Savior.”