Sources report that while that in addition to the tourist island, the mainland of Portugal has been ravaged by more than 100 wildfires, including in the center, north and northwest. In Madeira, where tourists and locals were forced to flee before the situation there was brought under control, three people will killed, along with at least one person on Portugal’s homeland.
In the Pope’s telegram to Bishop of Funchal Antonio Cavaco Carrilho, he says he is “appalled” to hear the “sad news of the terrible fires,” and expressed his spiritual closeness, solidarity, and participation in the grief of all those who mourn.
“In a particular way, on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of the Hill,” the telegram read, “His Holiness entrusts the Diocese of Funchal to the Holy Mother of God who, with her Assumption into Heaven, is closer to her children here on earth, to intercede for them with Jesus, as a luminous sign of the future life we hope for.”
The Holy Father, before concluding the telegram, called for comfort and recovery of the wounded, courage and consolation for the affected, and special prayers for the more than 4,000 firefighters who have been working to combat the fires.
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