Litomerice - Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic, and Litomerice Bishop Jan Baxant today handed financial aid from Pope Francis to nine Czech families whose houses were damaged by a flood in 2013.
Arcibiskup Giuseppe Leanza a litoměřický biskup Jan Baxant předali 10. června na litoměřickém biskupství dar papeže Františka jako výpomoc nejpotřebnějším, kteří byli postiženi záplavami v roce 2013. ČTK Zavoral Libor
Baxant said the financial aid was a way how the Pope showed sympathy with the people hit by the flooding.
After the flood hit the Litomerice district at the turn of May and June 2013, Baxant addressed a letter to the Pope and asked for help.
Francis, who has a foundation based in the United States, sent $50,000 to the people, which means that each of the nine households received 108,500 crowns today.
Marie Kloubska, from Kresice, said the money from the pope will help her family a lot. She said they have done only the most urgent repairs on the house after the flood and that the heating needs to be reconstructed and new windows are needed.
Lidmila Kormundova, from Pocaply, said her house has been flooded three times - in 2002, 2006 and 2013.
The 81-year-old Kormundova said she hopes the last year´s flood was the last one.
In 2006, Kormundova was isolated from the rest of the world during the flooding, but she did not leave her house. She has been living in Pocaply for the whole of her life.
Massive flooding has hit the Czech Republic repeatedly since the late 1990s, after several decades during which a flood appeared only exceptionally.
The Litomerice diocese asked the pope for aid already once before, following a flooding in 2010. Pope Benedict XVI gave about 750,000 crowns to the locals in need then.