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Consistory Hall
Saturday, 12 September 2020



Dear brothers and sisters,

I thank you for coming to share with me too your suffering and your prayer. I remember that when the tragedy occurred, I was shaken by it. But as time goes by - and unfortunately with the succession of many, too many human tragedies - one risks forgetting. This meeting helps me and the Church not to forget, to keep in my heart, and above all to entrust your loved ones to the heart of God the Father.

Every tragic death brings with it great pain. But when it steals away five teenagers and a young mother, it is immense, unbearable without God’s help. I do not go into the causes of the accidents in that discotheque where your family died. But I join with all my heart to your suffering and your legitimate desire for justice.

I also wish to offer you a word of faith, consolation and hope.

Corinaldo, the place where the tragedy took place, is located in an area watched over by Our Lady of Loreto watches over: her Sanctuary is not far away. And so I would like - we would like - to think that she, as a Mother, never took her eyes off them, especially in that moment of dramatic confusion; that she accompanied them with her tenderness. How many times have they invoked her in the Hail Mary: “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death”! And even though in those chaotic moments they were unable to do so, Our Lady does not forget, she does not forget our petitions: she is our Mother. She certainly accompanied them towards the merciful embrace of her Son Jesus.

This tragedy took place during the night, at the early hours of 8 December 2018, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On that same day, at the end of the recitation of the Angelus, I prayed with the people for the young victims, for the wounded and for your families. I know that many, starting with your Bishops, present here, your priests and your communities, have supported you with prayer and affection. My prayer for you also continues, and I accompany it with my blessing.

When we lose a father or mother, we are orphans. There is an adjective: orphan, orphan. When a spouse is lost in marriage, those who remain are widowed or widowed. There is also an adjective for this. But when you lose a child, there is no adjective. The loss of a child is impossible to express in an “adjective”. I have lost a child: what am I...? No, I am neither an orphan nor a widower. I have lost a child. Without an adjective. There isn’t one. And this is your great sorrow.

Now I would like to recite together with you the Hail Mary for Asia, Benedetta, Daniele, Emma, Mattia and Eleonora.

[Hail Mary...]


*Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 12 September 2020

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