Pope Francis gives El Paso bishop rosaries for victims of Walmart shooting

Vatican City, Jan 31, 2020 / 06:49 pm (CNA).- During a recent trip to Rome with other bishops from his region, Bishop Mark Seitz asked Pope Francis to continue praying for the victims and families of those affected by the Aug. 3, 2019 shooting at an El Paso Walmart, which killed 22 people and injured 24 others.

After the meeting, Pope Francis gave Seitz 50 rosaries he had blessed, to be given to the survivors and families of the victims of the shooting.

According to the El Paso Post-Herald, the diocese is requesting that families and survivors interested in receiving one of the papal rosaries contact the office of the bishop.

One rosary will be given to each family of the victims of the shooting, and one rosary will be given to each survivor.

Families and survivors of the shooting are also invited to attend a prayer vigil at the Pastoral Center Memorial, which will mark the six month anniversary of the shooting. Those attending the vigil will receive their papal rosaries from Bishop Seitz at that time, while the bishop will make other arrangements for those families and survivors unable to attend the service.

Fewer than 24 hours after the El Paso shooting, a downtown Dayton, Ohio shooting left nine people dead and more than two dozen others injured. The El Paso and Dayton shootings had come just a week after a mass shooting at a garlic festival in California that killed three people.

“I am spiritually close to the victims of the episodes of violence that these days have bloodied Texas, California and Ohio, in the United States, affecting defenseless people,” the pope said after the recitation of the Angelus on Aug. 4, 2019.

“I invite you to join in my prayer for those who have lost their lives, for the wounded and for their families,” Francis said at the time. He then led those present in St. Peter’s Square in praying a ‘Hail Mary’ for the victims.

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