Pope Francis is praying for victims of a natural disaster that hit his homeland, as a rain storm Tuesday night caused flash floods in Buenos Aires and La Plata, causing more than 50 deaths.
In a note signed by the Pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy Father promises “prayers to the Lord for the eternal rest of those who died, at the same time wanting to express his paternal, spiritual closeness to all those affected and their families.”
Some 16 inches of rain fell on the city of La Plata in the space of two hours late on Tuesday night. About that same amount fell earlier on Buenos Aires.
The papal note continued: “[T]he Holy Father encourages civil and ecclesiastical institutions, as well as all people of good will, to provide in a spirit of charity and Christian solidarity the necessary help those who have lost their homes or personal belongings.”
“With these sentiments, the Supreme Pontiff imparts to those affected and those who come to their assistance the comfort of his Apostolic Blessing, as a sign of his closeness to the dear people of Argentina,” the message concluded.
The message was directed to Mario Aurelio Poli, the new archbishop of Buenos Aires. Francis appointed him March 28, thereby filling the vacancy left by his election to the See of Peter.