At Angelus, Pope encourages Haitian and Iraqi disaster victims


Benedict XVI noted several special causes for prayer after he recited the Angelus at noon on Nov. 14. He particularly expressed his “closeness” to the people of Haiti now suffering from a cholera epidemic and he prayed for peace in war-torn Iraq.

The Haitian epidemic comes in the aftermath of last January’s devastating earthquake.

"I encourage all of those who are doing their best for this new emergency and, while I assure my particular memory in prayer, I make an appeal to the international community so that it might generously aid those populations," the pontiff remarked.

He also remembered the people of Iraq during his greetings as he invoked "the gift of peace" for their nation. Iraqi Christians have suffered greatly in the past two weeks. An Al Qaida-linked group massacred churchgoers at Baghdad’s Syrian Catholic cathedral on Oct. 31 and Christian homes in the city were targeted for bombings just days later.

In his words after the Angelus, he also spoke of the coming "Vigil for All Nascent Human Life" scheduled for Nov. 27. The prayer vigil will coincide with the celebration of first vespers on the First Sunday of Advent.

"The time of preparation for Holy Christmas is a favorable moment to invoke divine protection over each human being called to existence, also as thanksgiving to God for the gift of life received from our parents," he said.

He has invited all Churches and individual parishes and church groups to take part. The U.S. bishops have provided different options for the observance of the prayer vigil including different combinations of the Evening Prayer, a Marian procession, the Rosary and Benediction.

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