In a condolence message sent by Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis said he was united in prayers with victims of nursing home fire in Quebec, Canada.
The fire broke out last Thursday just after midnight at the Résidence du Hâvre nursing home in L’Isle Verte. As of now, 19 people have been confirmed dead in the tragic inferno, while 13 are still unaccounted for.
Temperatures as low as -14°C (6°F) have hampered rescue efforts. Due to the bitter cold, a thick layer of ice roughly 40 cm (1.3 ft.) thick has formed around the building, complicating the work of investigators trying to find out how the fire began.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father said that he “united himself in prayer in the grief of the bereaved families, and entrusted the victims to the mercy of God, that they might be accepted into his light.”
“The Holy Father expressed his spiritual closeness to the injured and their families, as well as the firefighters and rescue workers who have performed a great work of solidarity, especially given the bitter winter weather,” Archbishop Parolin wrote.
Concluding the message, the Vatican Secretary of State said that Pope Francis imparted his Blessing as a “sign of comfort” to those affected. (J.A.E.)