.- Celebrating Mass for the 79 victims of the July 24 train crash near Santiago de Compostela, Spanish Archbishop Julia Barrio invited the mourning families to seek hope and comfort in Christ.
When we unite our suffering to that of Christ, it becomes redemptive, the archbishop told those gathered at a July 29 Mass at the Santiago Cathedral, including the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, and the regional governor Alberto Nunez Feijoo.
In his homily, Archbishop Barrio noted that “from the very first moments Pope Francis has been united with us in spirit with his fraternal affection and heartfelt solidarity. We are deeply thankful to him.”
“It is not easy to understand and accept” this tragedy, he added, but the mystery of death and suffering are “signs of light.”
“Everything has meaning in our lives,” the Santiago de Compostela archbishop continued. “Suffering and death seem to contradict the good news of the love of God and to shake our faith. But the faith tells us that our pain and suffering united to Christ on the cross brings salvation.”
“For this reason all of the sadness we feel for the death of a loved one is sacred,” he explained. Only hope in Jesus Christ “can console the loss of our loved ones and give meaning to our lives.”
He concluded by inviting family members to call on the Apostle James and the Virgin Mary for their aid.
“We pray that they have journeyed with them to the gates of heavenly Glory. Holy Apostle James, through you may hope shine forth from here,” the archbishop prayed.