New Delhi (Fides Service) - Recently Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana Papal Nuncio to India visited Catholic communities in areas affected by the December 26 tsunami to comfort bereaved families, encourage the work of rebuilding and assure all of the Pope’s prayers and sympathy.
The Archbishop went to villages and Tamil Nadu and Kerala to view for himself rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes undertaken by local Churches and Catholic aid agencies to help fishermen and their families whose homes and livelihoods were totally destroyed by the disastrous seaquake.
“The Holy Father sent me here to give you his blessing and to be with you, to know about your suffering and to see you all” Archbishop Lopez Quintana said as the villagers cheered him. He said that when the tsunami happened he was with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican: “The Pope immediately retired to pray for you and for all those who lost their lives, or loved ones or property. Do not be afraid - said the Archbishop said - God Almighty who knows everything is with you. The heavenly Father helps all those who face such suffering like the tsunami disaster” said the Archbishop who concluded his tour of the villages on February 20.
The Papal representative, who was accompanied by Bishop Stanley Roman of Quilon and Archbishop Soosa Pakiam of Trivandum, visited various coastal areas and prayer at the burial ground where tsunami victims were laid to rest. In Tamil Nadu he presided a special requiem Mass for tsunami victims at the national Marian shrine of Vailankanni. After his tour of tsunami hit villages Archbishop Lopez Quintana said it was clear that “the people’s faith in a ‘loving God’ had helped them recover from the disaster”.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/2/2005 righe 26 parole 260)