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Pope: Prayers for flood victims, for China, and for Burma’s first Blessed


(Vatican Radio) In a series of appeals made at the end of his general audience Wednesday Pope Francis asked people to pray for the victims of devastating floods in the Balkans, for the Catholics in China and for the first ever Burmese native to be declared Blessed:

“My thoughts go out again to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, who have been hard hit by floods, with subsequent loss of life, numerous people displaced and extensive damage. Unfortunately, the situation has worsened, so I invite you to join me in prayer for the victims and all those who are suffering from this calamity. Let our solidarity and the concrete support of the international community not be lacking to these our brothers and sisters.

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On May 24, we celebrate the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai. I ask all the faithful to pray that, under the protection of the Mother Help of Christians, Catholics in China continue to believe, to hope, to love and to be, in all circumstances, a leaven of harmonious coexistence among their fellow citizens.

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Also Saturday next , in Aversa (Italy), PIME priest Mario Vergara and the lay catechist Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, killed in 1950 in Burma, in hatred of the Christian faith, will be beatified. May their heroic fidelity to Christ be an encouragement and example to missionaries and especially catechists in mission lands who carry out important and irreplaceable Apostolic work, for which the whole Church is grateful”.