Monday, October 18

The church of La Paloma reopens with a tribute mass to the victims of the Toledo street explosion



About 150 people have attended this afternoon the reopening of the church of the Virgen de la Paloma, popular patron of Madrid, with a mass in homage to the four victims of the explosion two months ago in Toledo street number 98, the parish has informed in a statement.

«In the midst of pain, San José has worked silently, with the heart of a father, and he has brought us together today in families ”, were the words with which the parish priest of the Virgen de la Paloma church, Father Gabriel Benedicto, welcomed the 150 guests present at the Eucharist, who It started at 1 p.m., and several hundred people close to it followed the broadcast on the parish’s YouTube channel.

To all of them, the priest reminded them that God “is not indifferent to our suffering and knows how much we miss Javier, Stefko, David, and Rubén.” «That’s why today He has summoned us to console us and give us his strength, which is manifested in the midst of our weakness, “he added.

Benedict has evoked, one by one, the faces of the four people who died on January 20 when the parish building on Toledo Street exploded because of the gas that entered from the street.

Thus, Father Gabriel recalled the parish priest Rubén Pérez Ayala, 36; to his friend David Santos, a 35-year-old father of a family, who came to help him just a few minutes before the tragedy; the Toledo bricklayer Javier Gandía, 45, who worked in the area; and Stefko Ivanov, a Bulgarian national, who was passing by at the time of the explosion and was about to turn 47 years old.

«Today, somehow, heaven and earth come together. We ask the Lord to grant us peace and that we can always look at the pain of others. Today we are all part of these four families and today the Lord wants to comfort us all», He also said in the homily.

And he added: «I ask God that we can now look to the future with hope and that Saint Joseph, who had to embrace a reality that he had not chosen, help us to embrace this story that is already part of the history of La Paloma , of each one of us, as a starting point of a new history, where he is able to open a future and to rebuild something that is eternal.

In this liturgy, the children and teachers of the La Salle school, and the elderly and workers of the La Paloma residence, were also remembered, who lived the explosion without suffering personal injury. All of them were represented at mass, as were neighbors and merchants, especially those who have not yet been able to return to their homes.

The building that exploded when the gas conduit came loose under the sidewalk of Calle Toledo 98 remains closed pending technical reports, the parish has indicated in the same statement.

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