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Pope notes anniversary of WWII bombing of Rome

July 22, 2013

The Vatican has released a message by Pope Francis, dated July 19, recalling the bombing of Rome’s San Lorenzo district on that date in 1943. In his message—addressed to Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar general of Rome—the Pope recalled the raid that severely damaged the basilica of San Lorenzo, “sowing death and destruction” through the neighborhood.

The Pope also recalled that Pope Pius XII rushed to the San Lorenzo to comfort the victims of the bombing, and “showed himself to be a caring Pastor among his flock, especially in the hour of need, willing to share in the suffering of his people.” During that visit, Pope Francis pointed out, Pius XII was accompanied by his acting Secretary of State, Archbishop Giovanni Montini: the future Pope Paul VI.


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