Pope Francis is assuring the people of Haiti that he is close to them, as the death toll on the island from Hurricane Matthew approaches 1,000.
The Pope mentioned the hurricane today with his praying of the midday Angelus, following a Mass he celebrated for the Marian Jubilee during this Year of Mercy.
In the United States, at least 15 people have died from the storm, which is continuing to cause flooding and damage along the east coast.
“I learned with sorrow of the serious consequences caused by the hurricane which recently hit the Caribbean, especially Haiti, leaving many victims and displaced persons, as well as substantial property damage. I assure my closeness to the people and express confidence in the sense of solidarity of the international community, of Catholic institutions and people of good will. I invite you to join me in prayer for these brothers and sisters, so sorely tried,” he said, according to a translation by Vatican Radio.
The Holy Father also remembered the beatification on Saturday in Oviedo, Spain, of Fr Gennaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay companions.
“We praise the Lord,” he said, “ for these heroic witnesses of the faith, added to the ranks of the martyrs that have given their lives in the name of Christ.”
In concluding remarks the Pope greeted all the pilgrims who participated in the Marian Jubilee and thanked them for their presence.