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A Miscellany 346
A true miracle

by: Vatican Press Agency

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17 January 2012, For immediate release:

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today asked that on Sunday every church in Italy hold a special mass of thanks for the Virgin Mary, and suggested that other churches around the world join in.

The Holy Father attributed the low loss of life in the sinking of the Costa Concordia to "a miracle which saved over 4,100 lives through the grace of the Mother of God."

The Pope continued, "If the ship had been in the middle of the Mediterranean when it struck those rocks, perhaps a hundred kilometres or more from land where the water is over 2,000 meters deep, there would have been a far greater loss of life. But the Blessed Virgin ensured the accident happened very close to the shoreline and saved nearly everyone. It was a true miracle."