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Pope Francis: Cardinal Krajewski in Ischia “to express my closeness”

  • Religion

The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity will visit the town of Casamicciola Terme, on the Italian island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, tragically affected by a flood on November 26.

By Edoardo Giribaldi

In a statement released by the Holy See on, The Vatican announced that Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity, is visiting the town of Casamicciola Terme, situated on the Italian island of Ischia on Thursday, December 8.

On November 26, the population was dramatically devastated by a flood, which caused twelve victims and displaced hundreds of people from their houses.

The island of Ischia observed a Day of Mourning on Wednesday, to coincide with the funerals of those who lost their lives.

Sharing grief

Sharing the grief of the bereaved, the Cardinal said “Pain cannot be taken away but it can be borne together”.

And he reflected on the fact that his visit to Ischia takes place on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

“To undertake this visit on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception has a special significance,” he said, adding that “In the faces of grandmothers, aunts and women, I saw the ordeal of Mary who lost her son, who accompanied him until his last breath”.

Thus, the cardinal kissed the hands of the bereaved women, participating in their grief.

Cardinal Krajewski in Ischia

The first family the cardinal visited, was that of the relatives of Valentina Castagna and Gianluca Monti, the parents of Michele, Francesco and Maria Teresa who was just six years old when the landslide swept away their lives.

Comfort and hope from the Pope

“Pope Francis,” says the statement, “desires that those affected by this grief feel His closeness.” Cardinal Krajewski will donate a Rosary bead, blessed by the Pope, to every family “so that they may feel the comfort of His prayer and entrust themselves with hope to the Virgin Mother.”

The day after the tragic event, following the Angelus, Pope Francis had already asked to remember and pray for “the victims, those suffering, and all the rescue workers.”

Cardinal Krajewski had already visited Ischia in December 2015, following a violent earthquake that caused the death of two people and at least 2,500 displaced. On that occasion, the Cardinal had the possibility to hear the tragic stories of the population and bring and express Pope Francis’ closeness.

Update at 14:30

Source: Vatican News