Holy Father rallies support for the typhoon-torn Philippines
Catholic aid agencies rush to aid victims after more than 10,000 people are killed in disaster
Pope Francis yesterday led prayers for the people of the Philippines affected by the Super Typhoon Haiyan.
During the Angelus, the Pope led a silent prayer and a Hail Mary for the predominantly Catholic country.
“I wish to express my closeness to the people of the Philippines and of that region,” the Pope said to the audience from his balcony at St Peter’s Square. “Unfortunately, there are many victims and the damage is enormous.”
His call to prayer was then spread to 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide via Twitter, and retweeted 30,000 times.
The Holy Father sent a telegram to the Filipino President Benigno Aquino in whichhe supported the country’s rescue efforts.
“In praying for all the people of the Philippines,” the telegram says, “The Holy Father likewise offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this storm.”
Typhoon Haiyan particularly affected the island of Leyte. Its main city, Tacloban, saw 10,000 people killed.
Survivors have been left homeless and stranded following the typhoon, and seek food, water and medication.
Haiyan is the worst storm to hit the country since Thelma killed over 5000 people in November 1991.
The Vatican is donating 112,000 euros in emergency aid to the Philippines to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors. SCIAF has launch an emergency appeal for victims.
—For full report, see this week’s SCO in parishes on November 15.