> ANSA English > News

Pope Francis prays for victims of 2009 L'Aquila earthquake

Calls for reconstruction of homes, churches, artistic heritage

02 April, 14:46
Pope Francis prays for victims of 2009 L'Aquila earthquake (ANSA) - Vatican City, April 2 - Four days before the anniversary of the L'Aquila earthquake, which on April 6, 2009 killed nearly 300 people and devastated the Abruzzo region, Pope Francis prayed for the disaster's victims and for those who "still live in hardship" five years later, at the end of a general audience on Wednesday.

"Five years after the earthquake, which devastated your city, I unite in prayer for numerous victims, entrusting all those who still live in hardship to the protection of the Madonna of Roio," said Francis.

"I encourage everyone to keep hope alive," added the pontiff, who also called for the "reconstruction of homes" which "must be accompanied by that of churches, which are the houses of prayer for everyone, and the artistic heritage to which the revival of the territory is linked".

"I am addressing a special thought for the Jemo 'Nnanzi group from L'Aquila," the pope continued, making reference to a civic action group based in L'Aquila.

"Jemo 'Nnanzi, we move forward".