By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis has expressed his sadness hearing about a recent plane crash, and is invoking the strength and peace of God on all involved, including the injured, those whose lives were lost, and those helping.

This came in a Dec. 27 telegram the Pontiff sent through Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in English today.

Francis offered his condolences to the victims of the passenger jet crash on December 26, which crashed into a building shortly after taking off from Almaty International Airport in Kazahkstan. According to local authorities, out of the 98 people who were on the aircraft, at least 12 were killed and numerous injured.

The Holy Father, it noted, “prays especially for the eternal repose of the deceased and for the healing of those injured.”

“Upon all,” Pope Francis expressed, “especially those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the strength and peace of Almighty God.”

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the telegram sent today on the Pope’s behalf:

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Having learned with sadness of the recent plane crash in Almaty, His Holiness Pope Francis sends his condolences to all those affected by this tragedy. He prays especially for the eternal repose of the deceased and for the healing of those injured. Upon all, especially those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the strength and peace of Almighty God.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

[Original text: English]
[Vatican-provided text]

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