VATICAN INSIDER: INSIDE ROME’S LENTEN STATION CHURCHES – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF FERRY BOAT SINKING – POPE DONATES €150,000 EURO FOR FLOOD RELIEF IN AFRICA

VATICAN INSIDER: INSIDE ROME’S LENTEN STATION CHURCHES

Tune in this weekend to Vatican Insider for a special I have prepared on a wonderful, multi-century tradition in Rome during Lent – the celebrated Lenten Station Churches, What are they? What is their history? Why are they special in Lent? You will definitely want to come to Rome some year to participate, even for a few days, in this tradition but this weekend you can visit with me!

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PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF FERRY BOAT SINKING

The following telegram was sent to Mosul, Iraq by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in the name of Pope Francis for the victims of a ferry boat accident in Mosul:

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of all who lost their lives following the tragic sinking of a ferry in the Tigris River in Mosul. Expressing his prayerful solidarity with those who mourn, His Holiness commends the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty, and prays for the local authorities and emergency personnel. Upon the whole Iraqi nation Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of healing, strength and consolation.”

From AsiaNews and other agencies: The Iraqi Prime Minister has decreed three days of national mourning, after visiting the place where a ferry going across the Tigris sank yesterday afternoon near Mosul, killing nearly 100 people. According to state television, PM Adel Abdel Mahdi visited the injured in a hospital in the former “Caliphate” stronghold and the morgue where the bodies of the victims are held.

The ship, used for transporting people, was packed with families and tourists who celebrated the Nowrūz (Kurdish New Year).. First reports say there were around 200 people on board, more than the boat could contain.

The ship was heading towards the island of Umm Rabaen, a tourist resort about 4 km north of the center of the city of Mosul, one of the many stops planned for the trip organized in conjunction with the new year. According to some videos, the ferry suddenly tilted to the right, began taking on water, then capsized and was dragged downstream of the river.

POPE DONATES €150,000 EURO FOR FLOOD RELIEF IN AFRICA

A note today from the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development stated that during the last week the floods caused by the cyclone Idai have devastated entire areas between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The death toll – constantly increasing – refers to at least 300 confirmed victims, thousands of wounded and hundreds of thousands of displaced people. At least one million would be the people involved in the disaster.

Pope Francis, through this dicastery, has decided to send a first contribution of 150,000 euros (50,000 for each country) for the relief of the population in this first phase of emergency.

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