The following is the letter sent by the Holy Father Francis to the people of L’Aquila for the tenth anniversary of the earthquake that, on 6 April 2009, devastated the city and the surrounding area, expressing his closeness and prayer for the victims and their families:
Letter of the Holy Father
Dear people of L’Aquila,
Your archbishop, Cardinal Petrocchi, has conveyed to me your warm wishes, which I reciprocate sincerely.
In these days we acknowledge the tenth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated your city and the surrounding territory, disseminating destruction and death. I pray for all the victims of that tragedy, and their families. I assure you that I accompany, with keen participation, the arduous path of reconstructing – well, rapidly and in a shared manner- of public and private buildings, as well as the churches and aggregated structures. May the Risen Lord give each and every one of you the light and the strength to make your ecclesial and social community ever more cohesive and creative, thus making you brave witnesses to industrious legality, active synergy and fraternal solidarity.
I ask the Virgin to accompany you and I bless you all with affection. And I ask you too, please, to pray for me.
From the Vatican, 4 April 2019