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Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Vatican City, 6 March 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father, through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., has sent a telegram of condolence to Archbishop Jozef Michalik, president of the Polish Episcopal Conference, for the victims of the 3 March train crash at Szczekociny near Zawiercie, which killed fifteen people and left many others injured.

In the telegram, the Pope makes known his sadness on hearing the news and his spiritual closeness to everyone affected by the tragedy. He also gives assurances of his prayers for the victims and shares the mourning of families and of the entire nation. He implores divine mercy and eternal life for the deceased and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured. He also asks for the gift of courage and peace for those who suffer and comforts them with the words of St. Paul to the Thessalonians: "Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died".

The Holy Father has likewise sent a telegram, also through Cardinal Bertone, to Archbishop Louis Portella-Mbuyu, president of the Episcopal Conference of Congo, for the death of more than 200 people in Brazzaville in the wake of a series of explosions in an arms depot.

Having been informed of this "tragic catastrophe" the Holy Father expresses his profound condolence to the families and friends of the victims, and asks the Lord to welcome the deceased into His peace and light. The Pope also expresses his thanks for the efforts of rescue workers and appeals to God to bring "consolation and hope" to the injured and to everyone affected by this dramatic event.

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