“The Pope is close to you all in this suffering with the presence of the President of ‘Cor Unum’. He sent me from Rome to bring you his love and compassion, as well as the compassion and prayer of the whole Church”. With these words Cardinal Robert Sarah addressed the faithful gathered in front of the ruins of Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, devastated one year ago by the earthquake killing 250,000 and leaving a million homeless.
On 12 January, the first anniversary of the earthquake, the African Cardinal celebrated Mass and read Benedict XVI’s Message to the people of Haiti. The Holy Father’s solidarity was made even clearer with the announcement of the appointment of Archbishop Guire Poulard of Port-au-Prince, whose predecessor, Joseph Serge Miot, was killed when the Cathedral collapsed during the earthquake.
“We continue to mourn,” the President of “Cor Unum” remembered, “the thousands of people who were dear to us... Every victim loved life just as we do. And they lost their lives full of fear and with immense suffering”.
“This year we have cried out several times like Jesus on the Cross, ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me’” Cardinal Sarah recalled, but also reminded Haitians that “when we welcome God’s love within ourselves, a change comes about, we pass from spiritual paralysis to a life given to others.... God is so powerful that he can give birth to goodness, even after such a terrible tragedy”.
“We ask all of you,” Cardinal Sarah concluded, addressing the Authorities, religious and volunteer organizations, “to continue to aid until the end. Jesus does not tell us when there will be more catastrophes and earthquakes, but he reminds us that we do not have to face them alone”.
St. Peter’s Square
Sept. 21, 2019
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