|Pope Benedict XVI (Photo Source: myfoxboston)|
Today at 00:11 A.M. Chile time (6:11 A.M. Riyadh Time), the first man among the 33 trapped miners in Chile surfaced out in a capsule specially made to fit in a shaft. One rescue for each miner will take more than 30 minutes so it will take another few hours before all the 33 miners will be rescued.
The first man rescued was Florencio Avalos, 31 years old.
In August 30, 2010, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI sent his personal message to the 33 trapped minersto keep strong in their faith for they are in his prayers always.
The miners were trapped since August 5, 2010 as deep as 2,300 ft (701 m) underneath. In August 22 the miners were discovered to be alive all of them. Soon after they were sent food, water and most importantly religious objects such as the Crucifix and the image of the Blessed Mother which they fervently requested.
In October 7, a day before the Feast of the Rosary, the trapped Chilean miners sent a signed flag to the Pope expressing their deep gratitude for his personal prayers and for their safety and strength.
Headed by Jaime Coiro, the director of communications for the Episcopal Conference of Chile, he was joined by another 230 journalists who came from 85 nations, including Chile for an audience with the Pope who in turn handed over the “signed flag”.
"I gave the flag to the Pope. He was very interested. He became very happy at seeing the miners' signatures."The Holy Father asked me if they would be rescued on Saturday. I told him that the rescue is expected in the next few days."He took the flag and together with me, unfolded it, looking over the signatures. He told me that he continues to pray."
Below are the names of the Chilean miners whom I personally recommend for our prayers.
- Florencio Avalos Silva, 31, video operator for the underground miner communications. Expected to be the first up.
- Mario Sepulveda Espinace, 39, the 'journalist' commentator who moderated the video broadcasts. Possibly second one up.
- Juan Illanes Palma, 52, served in Chilean army, possibly the third up.
- Carlos Mamani Solis, 23, of Bolivia, the only non-Chilean trapped, possibly number four up.
- Renan Avalos Silva, 29, brother of Florencio Avalos.
- Mario Gomez Heredia, 63, the oldest of the group who sent the first report to the surface that they were alive.
- Jimmy Sanchez Lagues, 19, the youngest.
- Ariel Ticona Yanez, 29, became a father during the ordeal. His daughter was named Esperanza, for Hope.
- Edison Pena Villarroel, 34, ran 10 kilometres every day in the underground mine shafts.
- Víctor Zamora Bugueno, 33, wrote poetry underground.
- Raul Bustos Ibanez, 40, survived the Chilean earthquake earlier this year, which destroyed his job as a mechanic. Found new job at mine, where he thought he would find more peace.
- Claudio Yanez Lagos, 34, promised he will marry his partner of 25 years and mother of his children when he emerges. The pair have grandchildren.
- Víctor Segovia Rojas, 48, kept a journal in the underground.
- Jorge Galleguillos Orellana, 56, suffers high blood pressure and is one of the complicated medical cases.
- Jose Henriquez Gonzalez, 54. The number 33 is his fate: married for 33 years, working at the mine for 33 years, and one of the 33 trapped men.
- Samuel Avalos Acuna, 43, had been a street seller of wares and had hoped for a better life in the mine.
- Claudio Acuna Cortes, 34, football fan who plans to greet his wife wearing his team's shirt.
- Franklin Lobos Ramirez, 53, avid football player who received greetings from Spain's David Villa.
- Osman Araya Araya, 30, experienced a nervous collapse underground.
- Yonni Barrios Rojas, 50, played nurse to his comrades in the mine.
- Alex Vega Salazar, 31 , his father is an emergency doctor and changed his name in order to help in the rescue. Family members were not supposed to be part of the rescue team.
- Richard Villarroel Godoy, 27
- Daniel Herrera Campos, 27
- José Ojeda Vidal, 46
- Luis Urzúa Iribarren, 54
- Carlos Barrios Contreras, 27
- Omar Reygada Rojas, 56
- Juan Carlos Aguilar Gaete, 49
- Carlos Bugueño Alfaro, 27
- Pedro Cortés Contreras, 25
- Pablo Rojas Villacorta, 45
- Darío Segovia Rojo, 48
- Esteban Rojas Carrizo, 44