Pope goes to Italy quake zone to comfort victims

Jun 26, 2012, 2:29 PM

Associated Press

ROVERETO DI NOVI, Italy (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI visited northern Italy on Tuesday to comfort survivors of last month’s back-to-back earthquakes that killed 24 people, urging them to rebuild and keep the faith.

Benedict traveled by helicopter from the Vatican to Rovereto Di Novi near Modena, where Rev. Ivan Martini was killed during an aftershock of the May 29 quake when part of his church roof caved in when he returned to try to save its statue of the Madonna.

The statue was displayed Tuesday in front of the church of St. Catherine. Many of the town’s faithful are now living in small tents nearby.

Benedict briefly prayed at the church before greeting residents of the tiny town, much of which has been declared off-limits because buildings remain too unstable from the 5.8-magnitude temblor. A 6.0-magnitude quake hit nearby May 20.

One of the first people Benedict greeted was the brother of Martini, who residents said had been the first to set up a canteen for displaced people before rescue teams arrived.

The statue was later carried to a covered stage where Benedict urged the cheering crowd to not give up hope even amid the debris and uncertainties of their lives.

“On this rock, with this firm hope, you can build, you can rebuild,” the German-born Benedict told the crowd, recalling how Italy had rebuilt itself after World War II.

Resident Albino Lodi said he hoped the visit would “bring a smile to the faces of these people who were hit so badly by the earthquake.”

The visit echoed one Benedict made in 2009 to the central Italian city of L’Aquila, after a 6.3 magnitude temblor there destroyed much of the city’s historic center and killed 308 people.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

People search a collapsed building following an earthquake in Azmarin town, Idlib province, norther...
Associated Press

Death toll soars after powerful earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked wide swaths of Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday, killing and injuring thousands of people.
2 days ago
FILE - A fuel trucks drives along a highway in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 27, 2023. European Union go...
Associated Press

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

The new sanctions create uncertainty about prices as the 27-nation European Union finds new supplies of diesel from the U.S., Middle East and India.
3 days ago
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
4 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Pope goes to Italy quake zone to comfort victims