Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to the President of the Philippines, expressing his solidarity with those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
The typhoon, one of the worst on record, is feared to have killed as many as 10.000 people on Leyte island, which bore the brunt of the storm. Pope Francis: heartfelt solidarity with those affected by Philippines typhoon
Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to the President of the Philippines, expressing his solidarity with those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon, one of the worst on record, is feared to have killed as many as 10.000 people on Leyte island, which bore the brunt of the storm.
Please find below the full text of the telegram, signed by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State.
“Deeply saddened by the destruction and loss of life caused by the super typhoon, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this storm and its aftermath. He is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and of those who have lost their homes. In praying for all the people of the Philippines, the Holy Father likewise offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this storm. He invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation for the Nation.”
Pope Francis also prayed for the victims of the typhoon after the Sunday Angelus in St Peter’s Square. He firstly called for silent prayer, and then led the faithful in a recitation of the Hail Mary. Furthermore, he urged those present to help their brothers and sisters in the Philippines concretely, as well as through prayer.
Prayers and support for the Filipino community in their hour of need
The Bishops of England and Wales, at this week's Bishops' Conference plenary, called for prayers to be offered for the people of the Philippines, following the intense storm last weekend. Early indications are that over 10,000 people have died and over 10 million affected by Typhoon Haiyan, with up to a million made homeless.
Mass will be offered for the Philippines and the Filipino community in this country at Westminster Cathedral at 1730 on Friday 15 November.
Aid agencies predict humanitarian needs will increase as the devastation becomes apparent in more remote areas. As part of the Aid response, Cafod is organising an emergency collection in parishes this weekend.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops' Conference, said:
"So many parishes benefit from the lively faith and contribution of the Filipino community and we all benefit from their significant contribution to hospitals and the caring services in this country. Now, in their hour of need, we must support them in prayer and generosity."