His arrival was announced by the Vatican on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. “My visit, perhaps, is more of an obstruction than a help,” he said upon his arrival, according to NBC. “I wanted to greet you, but I didn’t want to be an inconvenience, that’s why I let some time pass.”
The pontiff added that he had waited for “some things to be fixed,” before visiting, including the local school. “But since the beginning I felt that I had to come to you, simply to tell you that I am close to you, nothing else, and that I pray for you,” he said.
The 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the Apennine regions of central Italy on Aug. 24, killing an estimated 247 people and causing “apocalyptic scenes” near the epicenter. Amatrice, Accumoli, Posta and Arquata del Tronto were the worst hit towns, but even residents in Rome, some 170 km (105 miles) away, were woken by the quake.
The pope started his tour at the makeshift school set up in containers, meeting with more than 100 elementary and middle school students, some of whom gave him drawings. He also met with a man who lost his wife and children in the quake, the Vatican said.
- How an Alleged Spy Balloon Derailed an Important U.S.-China Meeting
- Effective Altruism Has a Toxic Culture of Sexual Harassment and Abuse, Women Say
- Inside Bolsonaro's Surreal New Life as a Florida Man—and MAGA Darling
- 'Return to Office' Plans Spell Trouble for Working Moms
- 8 Ways to Read More Books—and Why You Should
- Why Aren't Movies Sexy Anymore?
- Column: Elon Musk Should Not Be in Charge of the Night Sky
- How Logan Paul's Crypto Empire Fell Apart
- 80 for Brady May Not Be a Masterpiece. But the World Needs More Movies Like This