Vatican City, Aug 24, 2016 / 02:04 am
Instead of giving the usual catechesis during his Wednesday general audience, Pope Francis decided to postpone the speech, leading pilgrims in praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for the victims of an earthquake that rocked central Italy earlier that morning.
"On hearing the news of the earthquake that has struck central Italy and which has devastated many areas and left many wounded, I cannot fail to express my heartfelt sorrow and spiritual closeness to all those present in the zones afflicted," the Pope said Aug. 24.
He offered his condolences to all who have lost loved ones, and his expressed his spiritual closeness to those who are "anxious and afraid."
At least 21 people have been killed and countless buried under rubble after an earthquake hit central Italy early Wednesday morning.