Pope brings personal reassurance to earthquake victims
June 26, 2012
Pope Benedict XVI brought a message of comfort to earthquake victims in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy during a morning visit on June 26.
Arriving by helicopter from Rome in the morning, the Pope visited Rovereto di Novi, where he stopped to pray in the church of St. Catherine of Alexandria—a church whose pastor had been killed when the building partially collapsed in the tremor. Then he spoke to local residents in the town square.
The Pope said that he had “felt the impelling need to come among you in person” as he heard about the suffering caused by the earthquake, the death of the pastor, and the anguish of the people as aftershocks continued to shake the town. The Pope encouraged the local residents to remember the promise of Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
The confidence expressed in that psalm, the Pontiff said, is the confidence of faith, which goes beyond any current worries. “Yes, we may feel fear and anguish—even Jesus did—but above all is the certainty that God is with us.” Pope Benedict urged the people of Emilia Romagna to maintain their spirit of solidarity and warmth. “You are not and you will not be alone!” he reassured them, promising the prayers of the world’s Christian community and the continued support of relief agencies that are already at work in the area.
Concluding his visit, the Pope returned to Rome early on Tuesday afternoon.