Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula on Wednesday asked for prayers for Pope Francis’ safety after an envelope sent to the head of the Catholic Church, with no return address and containing three pistol bullets, was intercepted by authorities near Milan, Italy.
Advincula said in Radio Veritas the prayers were also needed for the renewal of individuals who were sowing violence and threats to other people.
“Let us pray that God may touch the hearts of people who sow fear, violence, lies, and violate human rights.,” he said.
According to the Catholic News Agency, authorities have seized the envelope, sent from France, addressed to Pope Francis at the Vatican City, St. Peter’s Square, containing three pistol bullets in a mail sorting facility close to the northern Italian city of Milan.
Police are continuing their investigation, as they identified the suspect to be a French national, whose name they did not disclose.
Advincula said: “While investigation is ongoing on the origin and the motive of the envelope with three bullets for Pope Francis, let us continue to pray for his safety.”
The piece of mail, which had no return address but carried a French stamp, was addressed to “The Pope, Vatican City, St. Peter’s Square in Rome,” the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported.
The newspaper, according to the Catholic News Agency, said the envelope contained three pieces of 9 millimeter ammunition, of the kind used in a Flobert gun, and a message referring to financial operations in the Vatican.
The manager of an Italian post office branch in the town of Peschiera Borromeo, about seven miles southeast of Milan, alerted authorities when he found the suspicious piece of mail during sorting on the night of Aug. 8, the Catholic News Agency said.