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Pope Applauds Efforts to Defend, Protect & Save Life, Even to the Point of Giving One's Own…

Thanking Members of Italy’s National Civil Protection Service, Francis Remembers Those Who Have Given Their Own Lives to Save Others

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Pope Francis has applauded the efforts to protect, defend and save human life, even to the point, at times, of giving ones own…
The Holy Father expressed this in his address to more than 6,000 members of Italy’s National Civil Protection Service gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Saturday Dec. 22, 2018, in his last public audience before Christmas.
“On this beautiful occasion, rejoicing in the proximity to the holy Nativity,” the Holy Father reflected, “our thoughts and our prayers can not forget the people who this year have been victims of disastrous phenomena; likewise we wish to remember those rescuers who – also recently – have given their own life to save that of others.”
At this encounter, the Pontiff observed, rescuers and rescued participate together with many ordinary citizens who have decided to make available to the community their skills and their free time, with commitment and generosity. In this way, he said, they ensure the full operation of a system that constitutes the most complex and articulated form of public solidarity to safeguard individual and collective security.
“Thus,” he applauded, “the Italian Civil Protection never ceases to remind us that the defense of human life and the protection of the territory and infrastructure not only occur in emergencies, but also and above all in activities of forecasting and prevention and in the subsequent phase of return to normality that despite everyone’s commitment, it is sometimes longer and more complex than one might imagine.”
Again praising their work and sacrifice, Pope Francis concluded, saying: “In this spirit, I hope you will celebrate Christmas with joy and peace of heart.”
“May the Lord bless you and the Virgin Mother protect you. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Thank you,” he said.

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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': or

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