From the Vatican, 19 October 2013
His Holiness, Pope Francis has asked me to express his concern for the people of New South Wales and all who are affected by devastation wrought by the extensive fires in the region.
He prays especially for those who have died and for those who have lost their homes and workplaces, as well as for the numerous personnel working to combat the fires and to provide comfort and care for those who are suffering.
Invoking the spiritual gifts of solidarity and perseverance upon the communities touched by these trying events, the Holy Father sends his blessing.
+ Archbishop Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State