I assume Pope Francis must have felt the earth shake as the terrible earthquake that hit central Italy in the middle of the night, was felt in Rome as well as other cities. Central Italian towns felt it the worst and have suffered devastation. It was a shallow earthquake, the worst kind. The hardest hit towns were the small towns of Amatrice, Accumoli, and Pescara del Tronto, about 62 miles (or further) northeast of Rome. The center of the small town of Amatrice was destroyed, and the people walked around in shock. So sad that the people there have suffered, some have died, others are grieving, others are confused and afraid.
I've heard this before from priests, when there are no words, when one doesn't know what to do in the face of tragedy, the Rosary is a prayer that helps. That is probably why Pope Francis skipped his usual catechism for his Wednesday general audience and instead asked the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square to recite the Rosary. I remember years ago, a priest told a story that when the rectory where he was residing was faced with a tragic sudden loss, a rectory worker was killed in an accident, the Rosary consoled those who knew her, there were no other words that could help at that time. I remembered that story when I read that Pope Francis went to the Rosary to help heal and comfort and to pray for those who've lost loved ones and for the deceased.