Pontiff Consoles Widower; Wife Killed Self, Children

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 25, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today offered a word of consolation to an Italian widower whose wife suffered from depression and killed herself and their two children.

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Gabriele Militello participated in the general audience today at Castel Gandolfo. According to L’Osservatore Romano, the bereaved man shared with the Pope “the great pain he has carried in his heart” over the past year since his wife Erika killed their two children — Alessio, 6, and Adrianna, 4 — and then committed suicide in their home in Castenaso, Italy.

“I have come to ask the Pope for a prayer and a word of peace that will illumine me on my difficult path,” said Militello, who was accompanied to the audience by an aunt who is a nun. “If I had not had the faith I would no longer be today; I am touching with my hand how the Lord is giving me the strength to go forward and continue to live.”

The Holy Father spoke with Militello at the end of the general audience.

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