.- Pope Francis asked for a moment of silence for 21-year-old pilgrim Sophie Morinière, who was on her way to participate in World Youth Day but died in a bus accident July 17.
During the Pope’s welcoming ceremony for World Youth Day on July 25, he expressed his condolences for those who were also badly injured just days before the event.
The bus, which was taking a group of pilgrims of the Saint-Léon parish in Paris to Rio, collided with a truck close to Kourou in the French Guiana, a country bordering north of Brazil.
The young woman had traveled from Paris to take part in World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro and was with other friends in Guiana where they had spent a week prior to the global youth event.
Sophie was in her fourth year of studies at the Polytechnic Women’s Institute of the Sein in Paris, where she lived. She was the oldest of four siblings: one sister, aged 19, and two brothers, aged 17 and 14.
In an interview with Notre Dame Radio on July 12, five days before her death, the young woman discussed her delegation that was on the way to World Youth Day in Rio.
“The time in Guayana will be a period of preparation,” she said.
“We have put ourselves in touch with locals who are happy to meet and receive us with open arms,” Sophie told Notre Dame Radio. “We will have time for spiritual sharing and we will be received by families, distributed in pairs in each one of their homes.”
The young woman also said “I will share with you (the radio’s morning audience) what will be lived in Brazil.”
“I will tell you about our encounters, our experiences, because in Paris one can't follow everything that takes place on the other side of the world.”
After her death, Pope Francis, through his Secretary of State, wrote a telegram in which he affirmed that “the Pope assures you of his prayers and expresses his most deepest sympathy to those injured, to the rescue workers and all those surrounding them.”