Pope offers prayers for victims of Hawaiian fires - Catholic Courier
A wildfire burns on the island of Maui near an intersection in Lahaina, Hawaii. A wildfire burns on the island of Maui near an intersection in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 9, 2023. Wind-whipped wildfires raced through parts of Hawaii, burning structures in historic Lahaina forcing evacuations and leading some to flee to the relative safety of the ocean, where they were rescued by the Coast Guard. (OSV News photo by Zeke Kalua/County of Maui handout via Reuters)

Pope offers prayers for victims of Hawaiian fires

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As fires continued to burn on the Hawaiian island of Maui and as the death toll continued to rise, Pope Francis offered his prayers and his encouragement to firefighters and rescue workers.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the destruction caused by the wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui,” said a telegram sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, to Cardinal-designate Christoph Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The pope, he said, “expresses his solidarity with all those suffering from this tragedy, especially those whose loved ones have died or are missing.”

Officials said late Aug. 10 that the death toll from the fires, which began Aug. 8, had reached 55, and Gov. Josh Green told reporters that number was expected to rise as a search through devastated property and neighborhoods continued.

Pope Francis offered “the assurance of prayers for the dead, injured and displaced, as well as for the first responders and emergency personnel,” Cardinal Parolin wrote. “As a sign of his spiritual closeness, the Holy Father willingly invokes upon all the people of Maui Almighty God’s blessings of strength and peace.”

Tags: Natural Disasters, Pope Francis
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