Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pope assures 'Ondoy' victims of 'spiritual closeness' and prayers

GMA News
10/03/2009 03:00 PM

More Pope Benedict XVI assured victims of tropical storm “Ondoy" (Ketsana) Friday (Vatican time) of his spiritual closeness and prayers to them.

The pope relayed the message in his address to new Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Arrastia-Tuason as she presented her credentials to him at the Vatican.

“I would ask you to convey to her and to all the beloved Filipino people the assurance of my spiritual closeness and prayers, especially for the victims of Typhoon Ketsana," he said in his message, the text of which was posted on Catholic volunteer-run news site Zenit (

Close to 300 had been confirmed dead in the wake of “Ondoy," which hit the country last weekend. The northern part of the country is currently being battered by another typhoon, “Pepeng" (international code name: Parma), which came a week after Ondoy left.

During the meeting with the new Philippine envoy, the pope also voiced confidence that the faith of the Filipino people will make them resilient “to face any hardship or difficulty."

“I am confident that the faith of the Filipino people - a faith, as Your Excellency has indicated, which gives them the ‘resilience’ to face any hardship or difficulty - will arouse in them a desire to participate ever more fervently in the worldwide task of building up a civilization of love, the seed of which God has implanted in every people and every culture," he said.

See also from Asia News, "Pope: support for "courageous steps" in Manila to promote peace and sustainable development."


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