.- Pope Francis offered prayers over the weekend for victims of both a plane crash in Russia and a suicide bombing in Istanbul.
“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the tragic air accident in Rostov-on-Don and he sends his sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims,” said a telegram from Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
“His Holiness commends the souls of the dead to the mercy of Almighty God and implores the divine gifts of consolation, strength and hope upon all who mourn their loss.”
Early Saturday, a flight from the United Arab Emirates crashed while attempting to land in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. All 62 passengers will killed. The plane had been circling for more than two hours without being able to land due to strong winds and poor visibility.
Also on Saturday, a suicide bomber attacked a busy shopping street in Istanbul, killing four. Authorities have identified the bomber as a Turkish citizen with links to ISIS.
The Pope “grieves to learn of the casualties caused by the bombing in Istanbul yesterday morning, and he expresses his prayerful solidarity with all touched by this tragedy,” said a separate telegram from Cardinal Parolin on Sunday.
“His Holiness asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to them, as well as to the personnel assisting the injured. Commending the souls of those who have died to the mercy of the Almighty, Pope Francis invokes divine strength and peace upon those who mourn, and upon the entire nation.”