L'Osservatore Romano

Pope's Address to Victims of the Terrorist Attack in Nice

«One can respond to the assaults of the devil only with the works of God, which are forgiveness, love and respect of one’s neighbor, even if he is different than you»

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On Saturday Pope Francis received in audience some of the relatives of the victims of the terrorist attack in Nice last July 14.
Here is a Zenit translation of the text of the Pope’s address:
My dear brothers and sisters, I apologize for speaking in Italian, but my French is not good.
With profound emotion I meet with you, who are suffering in your body and spirit because, on a day of celebration, violence struck you blindly, you or one of your dear ones, without care for your origin or religion. I want to share your pain, a pain that becomes even greater when I think of the children, even of entire families, whose life was taken away from them suddenly in a dramatic way. I assure each of you of my compassion, my closeness and my prayer.
Dear families, I invoke our heavenly Father, Father of all, may He take to Himself your dear deceased, so that they soon find the rest and joy of eternal life. For us Christians, the foundation of our hope is Jesus Christ, dead and risen. The Apostle Paul assures us of this: “If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:8-9). May the certainty of eternal life, which belongs also to believers of other religions, be of consolation to you in the course of life, and constitute a strong motive for perseverance to continue with courage your journey down here.

Related: Vatican’s Declaration on Tragedy in Nice: https://zenit.org/articles/vaticans-declaration-on-tragedy-in-nice/

I pray to the God of mercy also for all the persons who were left wounded, in certain cases atrociously mutilated, in the flesh or in the spirit, and I do not forget all those who, because of this, were unable to come or are still in hospital. The Church is close to you and accompanies you with immense compassion. With her presence at your side in these very heavy moments to be faced, she asks the Lord to come to your help and to put in your hearts sentiments of peace and fraternity.
The tragedy that the city of Nice experienced has aroused everywhere significant gestures of solidarity and accompaniment. I thank all the persons who helped the victims immediately, or who up to today and certainly also in the long run, are dedicated to support and accompany the families. I am thinking, naturally, of the Catholic community and its Bishop, Andre Marceau, but also of the services of aid and of the voluntary sector, in particular the Alpes-Maritimes Fraternite, here present, which brings together representatives of all the religious confessions, and this is a very beautiful sign of hope. I rejoice to see that among you inter-religious relations are very alive, and this cannot but contribute to alleviate the wounds of these dramatic events.
In fact, to establish a sincere dialogue and fraternal relations among all, in particular among all those who confess the one and merciful God, is an urgent priority that leaders, whether political or religious, must seek to foster and that each one is called to carry out around him. When the temptation is great to withdraw into oneself or to respond to hatred with hatred, to violence with violence, a genuine conversion of heart is necessary. This is the message that Jesus’ Gospel addresses to all of us. One can respond to the assaults of the devil only with the works of God, which are forgiveness, love and respect of one’s neighbor, even if he is different than you.
Dear brothers and sisters, once again I assure you of my prayer and of all the tenderness of the Successor of Peter. I pray also for your dear country and for its leaders, so that, without tiring, a just, peaceful and fraternal society is built. As sign of my closeness, I invoke upon each one of you the help of the Virgin Mary and an abundance of heavenly blessings.
May the Lord bless you all.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

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