“I express my closeness to the populations of several South Asian countries, badly affected by the monsoon rains.”
The Holy Father said this during his Angelus address today, August 15, 2019, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These natural disasters in India have claimed the lives of more than 300 across the country, and, in the regions of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, left more than 1.2 million evacuated from their homes.
“I pray for the victims and displaced, for all the homeless families,” the Pope told the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
“May the Lord give strength to them and to those who help them,” Francis prayed.
The Holy Father had also expressed his closeness to those afflicted by the floods in several regions of India, in a telegram earlier this week.
Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ address after the recitation of the Angelus prayer today at noon to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
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After the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters,
I express my closeness to the populations of several South Asian countries, badly affected by the monsoons and severe rains. I pray for the victims and displaced, for all the homeless families. May the Lord give strength to them and to those who help them.
Today, in Czestochowa, Poland, many pilgrims have gathered to celebrate the Virgin’s Assumption and to remember the centenary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Poland. I send my greetings to all those gathered at the foot of the Black Madonna and I urge them to pray for the whole Church. I also greet the Poles present here!
I address a cordial greeting to you, Italian pilgrims and those from various countries. In particular, I greet the Missionary Family Donum Dei , the Union Seglar de San Antonio Maria Claret, the Venezuelan group “Festeros de San Vicente ” who came by bicycle from Valencia, and the young people of a school camp in Novoli.
And now I ask you to accompany this gesture with prayer: I will bless a large number of rosaries for our brothers and sisters in Syria. Out of the initiative of [pontifical foundation] “Aid to the Church in Need,” about 6000 rosaries were made, by the Carmelite Sisters in Bethlehem. Today, on this great feast of Mary, I bless them, and then they will be distributed to the Catholic communities in Syria as a sign of my closeness, especially to families who have lost someone because of the war. Prayer done with faith is powerful! Let’s continue to pray the Rosary for peace in the Middle East and in the whole world.
I give a blessing, but let’s pray first to the Hail Mary.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s working translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]