Pope Francis says "In that heart are written the names of your loved ones, who have passed from time to eternity. Communion with them is more alive than ever. Death cannot break love..." to Aquila on Earthquake Anniversary

Pope Francis travels to the central Italian city of L’Aquila, 13 years after a devastating earthquake killed 309 people, and encourages residents to continue rebuilding their lives with faith in God. The Pope traveled via helicopter, 100 Km North East of Rome.
Churchyard of the Cathedral
Sunday, August 28, 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning, happy Sunday!
I am happy to be among you, and I thank the Cardinal Archbishop for the greeting he has addressed to me on behalf of all.

Together with you present here, I warmly embrace the whole city and the diocese of L'Aquila. I thank for your presence, also of the authorities, of the prisoners, of the children, of everyone: the people of God.
In this moment of meeting with you, in particular with the relatives of the victims of the earthquake, I want to express my closeness to their families and to your entire community, which faced the consequences of that tragic event with great dignity.
First of all, I thank you for your witness of faith: despite the pain and loss, which belong to our faith as pilgrims, you have fixed your gaze on Christ, crucified and risen, who with his love redeemed pain from nonsense. and death. And I think of one of you, who wrote to me some time ago, and told me that he had lost his only two teenage children. And like this many, many. Jesus has put you back in the arms of the Father, who does not let a tear fall in vain, not even one! But he gathers them all in his merciful heart.
In that heart are written the names of your loved ones, who have passed from time to eternity. Communion with them is more alive than ever. Death cannot break love, I remind us of the liturgy of the dead: "To your faithful, Lord, life is not taken away but transformed" (Preface I). But the pain is there, and beautiful words help, but the pain remains. And with words the pain does not go away. Only closeness, friendship, affection: walking together, helping us as brothers and going forward. Either we are a people of God or painful problems like this are not solved.
I congratulate you on the care with which you have created the Chapel of Remembrance. Memory is the strength of a people, and when this memory is illuminated by faith, that people does not remain a prisoner of the past, but walks and walks in the present facing the future, always remaining attached to the roots and treasuring past experiences, good and bad. And with this treasure and these experiences it goes on! You people from L'Aquila have shown a resilient character. Rooted in your Christian and civic tradition, it made it possible to withstand the impact of the earthquake and immediately start the courageous and patient work of reconstruction.
There was everything to rebuild: the houses, the schools, the churches. But, as you well know, this is done together with the spiritual, cultural and social reconstruction of the civic and ecclesial communities.
Personal and collective rebirth, after a tragedy, is a gift of Grace and is also the result of the commitment of each and everyone together. I emphasize that "together": not in small groups, no, together, all together. It is essential to activate and strengthen the organic collaboration, in synergy, of institutions and associations: a laborious harmony, a far-sighted commitment, because we are working for the children, for the grandchildren, for the future.
In the reconstruction work, the churches deserve special attention. They are the heritage of the community, not only in a historical and cultural sense, but also in an identity sense. Those stones are impregnated with the faith and values ​​of the people; and the temples are also propulsive places of his life, of his hope.
And speaking of hope, I want to greet and thank the delegation from the Abruzzese prison world, present here. In you too I greet a sign of hope, because even in prisons there are many, too many victims. Here today you are a sign of hope in human and social reconstruction.
I renew my greeting to you all, I cordially bless you, your families and all citizens. Jemonnanzi!
Source: Vatican.va