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World solidarity for the people of Haiti

· Commemorating the first anniversary of the earthquake ·

The Holy Father addressed a Message to the people of Haiti for the first anniversary of the terrible earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 January 2010. It was read by Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” who was the Holy Father’s Special Envoy to Haiti for this commemoration. He celebrated Mass in front of the ruins of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-au-Prince, the capital, a year after the terrible earthquake. The following is a translation of the Pope’s Message, which was written in French and dated 5 January 2011.

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the terrible earthquake that bereaved your country, dear Haitians, I am united with all of you to assure you of my prayers, especially for those who died.

I likewise wish to give you a word of hope in the present, particularly difficult, circumstances. Indeed, it is now time to rebuild, not only the material structures, but also civil, social and religious coexistence. I hope that the Haitian People will play the lead in their current history and in their future, also counting on international aid which has already shown signs of great generosity with financial assistance and through the volunteers who come from all the countries.

I am present through H.E. Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”. With his presence and his voice, he brings you my encouragement and affection. I entrust you to the intercession from Heaven of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Patroness of Haiti, who, I am certain, will not be indifferent to your prayers.

May God bless all Haitians.




St. Peter’s Square

Dec. 14, 2019