Pope prays for Taiwan
calls for international assistance

Prepared for internet by Vietnamese Missionaries in Taiwan

Castelgandolfo, Italy, Sept. 26, 1999 - Pope John Paul on Sunday sent his prayers to the people of earthquake-stricken Taiwan and called on the international community to provide help and solidarity.

"In these days my thoughts have constantly turned to the beloved people of Taiwan as they recover from the recent earthquake and its tragic aftermath," the Pontiff said in his regular Angelus speech from his summer residence outside Rome.

"With profound concern I commend the victims to the Almighty and implore His divine consolation and strength upon all the bereaved," he said, in his last speech from the summer residence before he returns to Rome next week.

"I am likewise confident that the international community will respond with renewed solidarity and ready assistance in the urgent work of relief and rebuilding."

It was the second time the Pope sent his prayers to Taiwan, which was hit early on Tuesday Sept. 21, 1999 by a devastating earthquake that has killed more than 2,000 people.

In a telegram to the president of the Chinese Regional Bishops Conference on Tuesday Sept. 21, 1999, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano had offered the Pope's prayers and condolences to the victims and their families.

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