CNA Staff, Jan 21, 2021 / 06:00 am
Croatia’s Catholic bishops on Tuesday commended “victims of the coronavirus pandemic and destructive earthquakes” to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
In a statement issued on Jan. 19, at the end of their plenary meeting in the capital, Zagreb, the bishops mourned those who had died of the virus and natural disasters in the country.
“We commend the entire homeland and all its citizens, especially the Archdiocese of Zagreb and the Diocese of Sisak, wounded by earthquakes, and all the victims of the coronavirus pandemic and destructive earthquakes, to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Most Faithful Advocate,” the bishops said.
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck Zagreb on March 22, 2020, injuring 27 people including a teenage girl who died of her injuries. Then on Dec. 29 a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit central Croatia, killing seven people and injuring 26 others.
The bishops said: “Although we had hoped that the year 2021 would restore our much-needed security, a series of earthquakes first struck our capital city of Zagreb in March, and then the Banja region and Diocese of Sisak in December of last year.”
“Parts of cities and villages were destroyed. Unfortunately, some also lost loved ones in the earthquakes. Many families were suddenly left without anything. Those who had previously lived in the safety of their own homes found shelter in halls, campers, or container houses.”
“Many churches in the Archdiocese of Zagreb and the Diocese of Sisak were destroyed or damaged, while the cathedrals in Zagreb and Sisak suffered extensive damage and had to be closed for worship.”
Amid the earthquakes, the coronavirus has stalked Croatia’s four million-strong population, 86% of whom are Catholic. More than 227,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 4,738 have died from the virus as of Jan. 21, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.