Pope Francis Offers ‘Heartfelt Solidarity’ to People of India amid Pandemic

Pope Francis prays during an ordination mass on April 25, 2021 at St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican, during which he is to ordain nine priests for his diocese as bishop of Rome. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

ROME — Pope Francis sent prayers and condolences to the people of India on Thursday when so many “are suffering as a result of the present health emergency,” in reference to the large number of coronavirus infections.

“I am writing to convey my heartfelt solidarity and spiritual closeness to all the Indian people, together with the assurance of my prayers that God will grant healing and consolation to everyone affected by this grave pandemic,” the pontiff said in his message, conveyed through the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

“My thoughts go above all to the sick and their families, to those who care for them, and in particular to those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones,” Francis said. “I think too of the many doctors, nurses, hospital workers, ambulance drivers and those working tirelessly to respond to the immediate needs of their brothers and sisters.

“With deep appreciation I invoke upon all of them God’s gifts of perseverance, strength, and peace,” he added.

In his message, the pope said he is united with the Catholic community in India in a particular way, “with gratitude for its works of charity and fraternal solidarity carried out in the service of all.”

“I think especially of the generosity shown by so many committed young people,” he continued. “I join you in commending to the Lord’s infinite mercy the faithful who have lost their lives, not least the great numbers of priests and men and women religious.”

“In these days of immense grief, may we all be consoled in the hope born of Easter and our unshakeable faith in Christ’s promise of resurrection and new life. To all I send my blessing,” he concluded.

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