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Pope Benedict XVI offers prayers for flood victims in PHL, 3 other countries

January 17, 2011 10:24am
Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday (Vatican time) offered a special prayer for victims of floods in the Philippines and three other countries — Australia, Brazil, and Sri Lanka.

During the praying of the Angelus at St. Peter's Square, the Pope dedicated a special plea for the flood victims in the four countries.

“May the Lord accept the souls of the dead, give strength to displaced persons and support the efforts of those who are doing their utmost to alleviate suffering and hardship," he said, according to a report of the Catholic news site Asianews.

In the Philippines, at least 51 people had been confirmed dead while 12 were reported missing as of Monday morning.

State weather forecasters warned that the cold front that brought heavy rains in parts of the country may move toward the north of the country this week.

World Day for Migrants

During the Angelus, the Pope also lifted prayers for migrants and Christian unity.

Sunday was the World Day for Migrants and also the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity.

He said the formation of a family is "the goal of humanity's great journey through the centuries, of course with all the differences that enrich, but without barriers, recognizing all equally as brothers."

He lamented that family members at times have to be apart from one another.

The Pope said migration "is sometimes voluntary, sometimes, unfortunately, it is forced by war or persecution, and often takes place, as we know, in atrocious conditions."

"Sometimes, unfortunately - he continued - Christians feel compelled to leave, with suffering, their land, thus impoverishing the countries where their ancestors have lived," he said.

"On the other hand, the voluntary movement of Christians, for various reasons, from one city to another, from one country to another, from one continent to another, are an opportunity to increase the missionary zeal of the Word of God and allow the testimony of faith to circulate in the Mystical Body of Christ across the nations and cultures, reaching new frontiers, new environments," he added.

"It is imperative that Christians, although scattered throughout the world and, therefore, of different cultures and traditions, may be one, as the Lord wishes. And this is the purpose of the 'Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,' which will take place in the coming days, January 18 to 25," the Pope said. – VVP, GMANews.TV
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