Pope Francis prays for Filipinos hit by typhoons

November 16, 2020 - 10:54 AM
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Pope Francis leads a Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of the Poor, at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican November 15, 2020. (Reuters/Remo Casilli/Pool)

Pope Francis offered his prayers to Filipinos affected by disasters that hit the Philippines in recent weeks.

The pope spoke off the cuff during his Angelus address on Sunday to express his solidarity with the southeast Asian nation.

Speaking in Italian, he said: “I express my solidarity to the poorest families and those who are doing all they can to help them.”

The death toll from Typhoon Ulysses has climbed to 67, with dozens more injured or missing.

The storm also forced tens of thousands to seek shelter in evacuation centers as massive flooding inundated several parts of the country.

Five cyclones struck the Philippines in a span of around two weeks, including Super Typhoon Rolly, the world’s most powerful this year.

Pope Francis also offered his support to all those working to help the victims.

On Nov. 13, the pontiff received in private audience Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, at the Vatican.

The cardinal is also the president of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of Catholic charities around the world.

The Holy See Press Office announced the meeting in its daily bulletin and gave no further details.

Caritas Philippines has earlier launched a global appeal to aid those affected by the calamities.

The Church’s social action arm also called on the government to seek international aid, saying that the country cannot do it alone.

“The nation is in quandary,” said Fr. Antonio Labiao, executive director of Caritas Philippines. “It is clear that we cannot do this alone.”

The pope visited the Philippines, Asia’s only Catholic country, in 2015.