Pope Francis appeals help for ‘Odette’ victims

December 20, 2021 - 9:33 AM
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Pope Francis speaks during an audience to the Italian Air Force in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican December 10, 2021. (Vincenzo Pinto/Pool via Reuters/File Photo)

Pope Francis on Sunday asked for prayers and assistance for victims of a strong typhoon that claimed lives and rendered thousands homeless in the Philippines.

After praying the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, the pope expressed his closeness to Filipinos suffering from the devastation caused by typhoon “Odette” on December 16.

“I express my closeness to the people of the Philippines hit by a strong typhoon, which has destroyed many homes,” the pope said.

“May the Santo Niño [de Cebú] bring consolation and hope to the families most in need; and may he inspire all of us to give concrete help. The first concrete help is prayer, and other aids,” he added.

The death toll from the strongest typhoon to hit the nation this year has topped 100, but scores of people are still missing as rescuers reach more devastated areas.

As of Sunday, more than 140 people are believed to have been killed after the typhoon ravaged the central and southern regions of the archipelago.

About half of the 142 deaths reported so far from the typhoon were in the province of Bohol in the Visayas region.

Caritas Philippines, the humanitarian arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, is currently mobilizing relief work for the devastated dioceses.

“Les us please respond with generosity,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, CBCP President.