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Vatican official promises aid for poor in Peru

.- Cardinal Robert Sarah, the head of the Vatican charity Cor Unum, promised to aid relief efforts by the Archdiocese of Lima in Manchay, one of the poorest suburbs of the Peruvian capital.

“I have listened to your pastor and I can say that the Lord is present in Manchay with his love and blessing,” Cardinal Sarah said during his visit to the country on Jan. 9.

“I want to thank you for everything that I have seen, and I can say in the name of the Pope that I wish to participate in your pastoral work,” he added, while making his commitment to ensure aid to the suburb.

Cardinal Sarah noted that if Pope Benedict were present, “he would have made the same promise to participate in the pastoral work of this place.”

“I bless you and I promise I will pray for each one of your families and for each of you. May God grant you health and peace.”

After observing the pastoral work in the region first-hand, Cardinal Sarah later encouraged the residents of Manchay to instill the love of God in their children. He also described the task Pope Benedict has entrusted to him at the Cor Unum to reach out to those who are suffering.

Cardinal Sarah said he traveled to Peru to visit the holy places associated with life of St. Rose of Lima, whom he has been devoted to since he was a young boy.

“I am here to get to know Peru, but above all to venerate a saint I learned about when I was young, St. Rose of Lima,” he said.

The cardinal added that his home parish in Guinea, Africa – which is named after the saint – will celebrate its 100th anniversary in February.

He said that “in order to spiritually prepare myself and my people, I wanted to come on pilgrimage to the various places where St. Rose of Lima lived.”

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