· Benedict XVI with the people of Emilia Romagna struck by earthquakes ·
“It is possible to build and rebuild”. In the heart of Emilia, devastated by earthquakes, the Pope stressed realism and hope. We are small and frail, he recognized, but safe in the hands of God, “entrusted to his Love which is as solid as a rock”. Thus there is the need for “patience and determination”, in order to not lose faith and to find the strength to recover. “I have seen that life begins again,” he said, looking around. Words that sound like a small injection of faith for the many people who on Tuesday, 26 June, met in Rovereto di Novi to welcome Benedict XVI who visited the areas struck by earthquakes.
Arriving at the sports field of San Marino di Carpi in a helicopter, the Pontiff then took a small bus to the small town in Modena, pausing in front of the Church of Santa Caterina di Alessandria, which collapsed 29 May and where Don Ivan Martini lost his life. In paying tribute to his memory the Pope thanked all the priests but also to the representatives of the volunteers and various social and religious bodies who are tangible witnesses to solidarity and unity.
“I felt ever more forcefully the need to come to you in person“, he confided to the people who listened in silence. He added, “I want everyone, in every town, to feel how close the Pope’s heart is to your own hearts, so as to comfort you but above all to encourage and support you”. Even with fear and anxiety, it is possible to feel “the certainty that God is with us; like the child who knows he can always count on his mother and father, because whatever happens he feels loved, he feels wanted”.
Thus we cannot give in to the temptation to to be lost and desperate. “You are not and you will not be alone!” Benedict XVI exclaimed, launching a strong appeal to the institutions and to every citizen asking that indifference leaves space for love and solidarity for those who are in need.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 22, 2018
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