The city of Olbia, on the island of Sardinia, is in mourning as a funeral took place today for the victims of the tragic flooding that engulfed the island on Tuesday. The funeral took place at the Geovillage Sports Stadium. Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu , Substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State, was present and addressed the mourners at the conclusion of the funeral.
With profound fraternal solidarity, I share the sufferings and hardships of the many families who have been left without a home and deprived of their dearest things,Archbishop Becciu told those gathered. I share with all Sardinians the legitimate expectations and hopes for a more secure and serene future.
Echoing Pope Francis words of condolence and solidarity, the Substitute of the Secretariat of State assured the people of Sardinia of the Holy Fathers support in this time of tragedy.
Pope Francis is spiritually present in our midst to share your anguish, to invite everyone to hope without yielding to distress, to hope profoundly that the respect for nature and the necessary care of the territory will be able to avoid in future similar devastating tragedies, he said.
As of now, 16 people, including 4 children have died from the flooding caused by a cyclone that struck the Italian island on Tuesday morning. Many more are missing in flooded areas where some reports indicate that levels reached up to 10 feet of water.
Concluding his remarks, Archbishop Becciu expressed the Holy Fathers closeness to the victims of the natural disaster, entrusting the victims and their families to Our Lady of Bonaria, patroness of Sardinia, as well as namesake of the Holy Fathers native Buenos Aires.
The Pope entrusts to the Holy Virgin of Bonaria all the persons and families involved in this very painful trial, so that through Her maternal intercession, the Lord will dry every tear and soothe every wound, Archbishop Becciu said.
Earlier today, Pope Francis led tens of thousands of faithful in silent prayer for the victims of the Sardinian floods during his weekly General Audience. He visited the island in September. (J.A.E.)