Pope John Paul II will hold a New Year’s midnight Mass in his private chapel for the victims of the tsunamis that have devastated Asia, his office said today.
The Pontiff “will remember the families of the victims and how much they are suffering in these days because of the consequences of the disaster, as well as those who are working to relieve the massive suffering of the affected populations”, a statement from the Vatican said.
The Pope has used appearances in recent days to encourage international relief efforts to help victims of the quake that triggered tidal waves in Asia and beyond.
More than 120,000 people have been reported dead in Asia and eastern Africa following Sunday’s quake.
Also today, the Pope read a message of thanks at a Vespers service in St. Peter’s Basilica.