Benedict XVI Sends Message to French Storm Victims

PARIS, MARCH 4, 2010 ( Benedict XVI expressed his «profound sympathy» to the families of the more than 50 people who died as a result of the storm Xynthia, which brought flooding to the coastline of southwestern France on Sunday.

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The Pope sent his condolences in a message to Bishop Bernard Housset of La Rochelle-Saintes.

The Holy Father’s message was read at the end of a Mass celebrated Wednesday in La Rochelle’s Cathedral of St. Louis.
Benedict XVI said that he «commends the deceased to the mercy of God and prays that genuine solidarity will allow persons affected by this tragedy, especially those who have lost everything, to find the support and assistance they need.»
The Pontiff invoked «abundance of divine blessings for all persons sorely tried.»

A mix of unique conditions caused Sunday’s storm, which brought waves crashing over the sea walls along the French coast.

Most who died were in the towns L’Aiguillon-Sur-Mer and La Faute-Sur-Mer.

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