Vatican City, 21 May 2014 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, during his greetings to the faithful in various languages, the Holy Father launched an appeal on behalf of those citizens who have lost their lives, for the many still missing, and for those affected by the great damage caused by the serious floods which have occurred during recent days in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. “Unfortunately the situation has worsened, and I therefore invite you all to join me in prayer for the victims and for all those afflicted by this disaster. May the solidarity and concrete support of the international community be forthcoming”.
Pope Francis also mentioned that on 24 May the Church celebrates the liturgical memory of Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, venerated with great devotion in the She-shan shrine in Shanghai, China. He urged all the faithful to pray so that, with the protection of Mary, Mother of Help, Catholics in China may continue to believe, hope and love and that they may be a leaven for harmonious co-existence with their fellow citizens in all situations.
Finally, he commented that Mario Vergara, priest of the PIME, and Isidoro Ngei Ko Lat, lay faithful and catechist, both killed in 1950 in Myanmar in hatred of the faith, will be proclaimed Blesseds next Saturday in Aversa, Italy. “May their heroic fidelity to Christ offer encouragement and an example to missionaries and especially to catechists who carry out precious and indispensable apostolic work in the mission lands, for which the Church is grateful”.