Vatican City, Nov 30, 2016 / 02:57 am
After a plane crash in Colombia claimed the lives of 71 people, including the majority of Brazil's up and coming Chapecoense soccer team, Pope Francis has offered his prayer and solidarity for the victims and their families.
"Deeply distressed to learn of the sad news of the serious plane accident which has caused many victims," Pope Francis "raises his prayers for the eternal rest of the deceased," a Nov. 30 telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin read.
Addressed to Bishop Fidel Leon Cadavid Marin of Sonson-Rionegro in the province of Medellin, Colombia, the letter asked the bishop to convey the Pope's "sentiment of condolences" to the families of the victims and to all those "who cry for so grievous a loss."
Francis offered his affection, and prayed that those mourning would find "solidarity and counsel." He asked that the Lord pour out on all those affected by the tragedy "the gifts of spiritual serenity and of Christian hope," and gave his apostolic blessing.