Earthquake victims touched by generosity of Pope Benedict


Volunteers unloading aid materials in ChengduRome, Jul 7, 2008 - Chinese earthquake victims swarmed members of Jinde Charity as they handed out bags of rice to those living in the earthquake-damaged province of Si Chuan. However, they weren't searching for food, what they wanted was the container - a bag with the Papal shield printed on it.

According to Fides news agency, money for the rice was personally donated by Pope Benedict to aid those involved in the May 12 earthquake that claimed the lives of over 69,000.

The rice was transported in bags with the Papal shield printed on the side. The earthquake victims told the Jinde Charity workers, "We know that there is not enough rice for everyone," but that they just wanted the "Pope's symbol, and seeing it we won't be hungry anymore."

"We will frame it and tell of the event to our children and express our gratitude for the Pope's closeness. Please!"

Pope Benedict's generosity also impacted those across the country. When the name "Pope Benedict XVI" appeared on the list of donors on the Jinde Charity website, the agency was overwhelmed with calls. "We received e-mails and faxes from Chinese Catholics and non-Catholics, expressing their gratitude to the Pope and their great excitement at perceiving his presence so close to them."