5 Years After Earthquake, L’Aquila Gets Papal Message of Hope

Pope Francis Addresses Group From Italian Town at General Audience

“I encourage all to keep their hope alive!” were the words of Pope Francis in his address to the group Jemo Nnanzi of L’Aquila at the general audience this morning. The Holy Father greeted the group after the audience, five years after an earthquake devastated the city.

L’Aquila is the capital city of Abruzzo, in central Italy. It was devastated in 2009 when an earthquake, with close to a six rating on the Richter scale, caused nearly 300 deaths and $16 billion in total damages.

Pope Francis prayed today for the reconstruction of the city of L’Aquila.

“I join in prayer for the many victims, and entrust those who still live in difficult conditions to the protection of Our Lady of Roio,” said the Holy Father.

Pope Francis emphasized restoring L’Aquila in a way that cultivates hope: “May the reconstruction of homes be accompanied by the rebuilding of churches, which are houses of prayer for all, and the recovery of artistic heritage, which is linked to the revival of the area.” (D.C.L.)

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