Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae

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BREAKING: Pope Francis Will Meet With Nice Victims' Loved Ones

Vatican Audience Next Week Will Realize Pope Francis’ Desire to Meet With Those Affected by Massacre During Bastille Day Celebration

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In an alert from the Holy See Press Office this morning, the Vatican announced: “On Saturday, Sept. 24, at noon, the Holy Father will receive relatives and loved ones of the victims of the attack in Nice, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.’
The Pope, in a variety of gestures, words, and telegrams, condemned the July 14 terrorist attack, in which 84 people lost their lives and more than 100 were injured after being hit by a truck driven at full speed through a crowd attending a firework display to celebrate Bastille Day, the French national holiday.
The next day, Pope Francis, through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, sent a telegram to Bishop André Marceau of Nice, France, following the the attack: “As France was celebrating her national holiday, the country was again struck by blind violence, this time in Nice, claiming many victims, including children. Once again condemning such acts, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his profound sadness and his spiritual closeness to the French people,” the telegram read.
“He entrusts to the mercy of God those who have lost their life, and joins fully in the suffering of the families afflicted. He expresses his sympathy with the injured, as well as with all those who involved in the rescue efforts, and asks that the Lord support all of them in their grief. Imploring of God the gift of peace and harmony, he invokes divine blessings upon the mourning families and all France,” it concluded.
Also during the Pope’s July 18 Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, he decried the attacks saying: “The pain of the massacre Thursday evening in Nice, in which many innocent lives were ‘mowed down,’ including many children, is alive in our hearts.”
“May God, the good Father, welcome all the victims into His peace, sustain the injured and comfort their families; May He dissolve every project of terror and death, so that man no longer dares to spill his brother’s blood,” he said.
In a declaration by the Vatican immediately after the attack, retired director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi said: ‘We condemn in the strongest way every demonstration of senseless violence, of hatred, terrorism and any attack against peace.’
In the period following the tragedy, Pope Francis expressed clearly his desire to meet with loved ones of the attack, and this audience will be the realization of that wish.
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Pope Decries Nice attack during Angelus: https://zenit.org/articles/pope-decries-nice-attack-during-angelus/
Pope Sends Telegram for Attack: https://zenit.org/articles/pope-francis-sends-telegram-for-tragedy-in-nice/
Vatican’s declaration on Nice Attack: https://zenit.org/articles/vaticans-declaration-on-tragedy-in-nice/

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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