While the wounds of past trials have healed, the scars that remain will serve as a reminder of strength and courage for future generations, Pope Francis told survivors of an earthquake.
Visiting Carpi and Mirandola on 2nd April, nearly five years after a 5.8-quake rocked the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, the pope said his visit was a sign of “closeness and encouragement” as the people continue to rebuild their homes and their lives.
“Looking at these scars, you will have the strength to grow and to make your children grow in that dignity, in that strength, in that spirit of hope, in that courage that you had in the moment you received those wounds,” he said.
The pope spoke to the survivors, who were gathered in the small square outside the Mirandola cathedral, which is still covered in scaffolding and where broken stones are still piled on the ground.
Before addressing the people, he laid a bouquet of yellow and white flowers on the cathedral’s main altar, closing his eyes in prayer then lifting his hand in blessing.
Picture: Pope Francis waves to the faithful from the popemobile as he arrives to celebrate Mass in Carpi, Italy, on 2nd April. (CNS photo/Alessandro Garofalo, Reuters).