Pope Francis ended his 3-day visit to Romania on Sunday, Extreme weather affects Romania
Pope Francis visit – Pope Francis on Sunday ended his 3-day visit to Romania whose motto was “Let’s Walk Together”. The visit occurred 20 years after the one paid by Pope John Paul II, which was the first visit by a Pope to a country with a majority Orthodox population. On Sunday, in Blaj (central Romania) the pontiff met with the Rroma minority representatives in that city in Alba county. On behalf of the Church he asked forgiveness to the Rroma community for the difficult moments in the history of this ethnic community when Rroma people were ill-treated, segregated and discriminated. Previously, in this Episcopal city, a spiritual center of Greek Catholics in Transylvania, Pope Francis held an official Mass during which 7 martyr Greek Catholic bishops killed during the Communist regime were beatified. According to the Pope, they left to the Romanian people a ‘precious’ heritage which can be summed up in two words: freedom and mercifulness. Pope Franscis underlined that the martyrs proved faith and great love for their people in the face of the Communist persecution. 100 thousand people attended the ceremony, among whom the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, the PM Viorica Dancila and the Crown Princess Margareta of Romania. On Saturday, the Pope visited Iasi, in northeastern Romania, which is home to a large community of Catholics. The pontiff visited the Cathedral ‘Holy Virgin Mary, Queen’, blessed 800 children, old and sick people and prayed for families and young people. Also on Saturday the pontiff held a Holy Mass at the Marian shrine in Şumuleu Ciuc in eastern Transylvania, a place inhabited by a majority ethnic Hungarian population, which venues annually the largest Catholic pilgrimage in Central and Eastern Europe. On Friday, in Bucharest, Pope Francis met with Romania’s high officials and said that despite many difficulties and shortcomings Romania managed to make progress in the democratic process it embarked on and he paid homage to the country’s sons and daughters, who, through their culture, values and work, enrich the countries where they emigrated. During his visit to Romania, Pope Francis was welcomed enthusiastically by hundreds of thousands of people.
Weather forecast – Romanian meteorologists on Sunday issued a Code Orange alert for torrential rain and storms valid until Monday afternoon for 11 counties in the south and center of Romania. The amount of water will exceed 40 l/sqm and 50-70 l/sqm in isolated areas. For the same period, meteorologists issued a Code Yellow alert for unsettled weather and heavy rainfalls for the south, east and centre of the country. Over 200 people were helped by the Interior Ministry employees this weekend. 35 people were rescued and more than 170 were evacuated from the flooded areas. According to a communiqué, 76 localities in 25 counties were affected by the extreme weather phenomena. In Prahova county, in the south, three children drowned in the high flood, while a 4th child is reported missing. The government announced urgent measures to support the people and communities affected by the floods.
Tennis – The defending champion in Roland Garros, 3rd seeded Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, will take on, on Monday, in the eighth finals, the Polish player Iga Swiatek (104 WTA). Halep in the only Romanian tennis player who continues in the singles. In the men’s doubles, Horia Tecau qualified to the quarterfinals together with his partner, the Dutch Jean Julien Rojer. (update by L. Simion)