A group of women wait for the arrival of Pope Francis to celebrate Mass on Huanchaco Beach, near the city of Trujillo, Peru, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Francis travels Saturday to northern Peru, where the pontiff will celebrate Mass and ride through a hard-hit neighborhood still reeling from disastrous rains that hit nearly a year ago. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

The Latest: Pope Francis consoles Peruvians hit by floods

January 20, 2018 - 10:34 am

TRUJILLO, Peru (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' visit to Peru (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Pope Francis is consoling Peruvians who lost their homes and livelihoods in devastating floods, telling them they can overcome all of life's "storms" by coming together as a community.

Francis travelled Saturday to an area of northern Peru that is frequently affected by El Nino storms and was hit last year by flooding that killed more than 150 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes. Many residents are still living in tents.

Francis said he wanted to come to Trujillo to pray with those who lost everything and must contend with "other storms that can hit these coasts, with devastating effects on the lives of the children of these lands."

He also mentioned organized violence and contract killings, a problem which is particularly acute in northern Peru.

He said Peruvians have shown that life's greatest problems can be confronted when the community comes together "to help one another like true brothers and sisters."


10 a.m.

Pope Francis has arrived in northern Peru to console residents still reeling from devastating floods nearly a year ago that toppled hundreds of thousands of homes, left streets covered in thick layers of mud and even ripped apart tombs from an above-ground cemetery.

Francis is celebrating a seaside Mass near Trujillo, a popular tourist resort town. He will then ride through a hard-hit neighborhood bearing the name of his native Buenos Aires, where thousands are still living in tents after El Nino rains killed more than 150 and sent thousands onto rooftops seeking rescue.

On his penultimate day in Peru, Francis also meets with local priests and then celebrates a Marian prayer in the central square. Marian popular piety is enormously important to Peruvian Catholics and the first Latin American pope.

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