Pope Francis Offers ‘Special Prayer’ For California Wildfire Victims

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

Pope Francis on Sunday offered a “special prayer” for the victims of the California wildfires, one of which has proven to be the deadliest in California history.

Francis said the prayer for both victims of the wildfires and of the freeze of the East Coast during his Sunday address in St. Peter’s Square. He also invoked God’s blessing and protection for those assisting in efforts to fight the fire and to aid victims.(RELATED: Water Hydrants Ran Dry As A Tsunami Of Fire Chased Fleeing Californians)

Pope Francis celebrates the Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of the Poor, at Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican November 18, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis celebrates the Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of the Poor, at Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican November 18, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Francis prayed that “the Lord welcome the deceased into his peace, comfort family members and sustain all those involved in rescue efforts,” according to Religion News Service.

California’s three most recent wildfires — Camp Fire, Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire — have scorched more than 240,000 acres. The Camp Fire destroyed the entire town of Paradise, burned 150,000 acres, and destroyed over 12,000 buildings and is the deadliest fire in state history. The fires have killed at least 80 people, and 1,200 people remain missing thus far. The Woolsey and Hill fires forced 160,000 people to evacuate from from Los Angeles alone, and thousands more have been forced to evacuate from elsewhere in California.

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