· Vatican City ·

Solidarity with Libya and Morocco

TOPSHOT - Men walk past debris of buildings caused by flash floods in Derna, eastern Libya, on ...
15 September 2023

At the General Audience in Saint Peter’s Square on Wednesday, 13 September, Pope Francis’ thoughts turned to the people of Libya, hard hit by violent rains that have caused numerous deaths, injuries and extensive damage. He invited the faithful to pray “for those who have lost their lives, for their families and for the displaced”. He also remembered “the noble Moroccan people”, suffering in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, and asked God to “give them the strength to recover”.

Earlier, the Holy Father had continued his catechesis on apostolic zeal, reflecting on the spread of the Gospel through the witness of men and women of every time and place. He turned to the example of Blessed José Gregorio Hernández. Born in Venezuela in 1864, José Gregorio was unable to pursue studies for the priesthood, due to health reasons. Accepting this as God’s will, he studied medicine and devoted his life to the care of those in need. Because of his deep devotion to Christ, expressed in charitable service to the least of our brothers and sisters, he became known as the “doctor of the poor”. His apostolic zeal was born of a personal experience of God’s mercy. The life of Blessed José Gregorio Hernández can inspire us, in the concrete circumstances of our own lives, to draw closer to the Lord in prayer, to serve him in the poor, and to work for the spread of his Gospel and the growth of his Kingdom of holiness, justice and peace.

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