By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis has offered his condolences to the victims of the plane crash that took place near Teheran Imam-Khomeini International Airport, Iran, in a Jan. 9 telegram he sent to Ukrainian civil authorities through Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in English, today, Jan. 9, 2020.

The Holy Father expressed his sadness hearing about the passenger 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.

In the telegram, Francis prayed “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 deep sadness of the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines passenger plane near Tehran, His Holiness Pope Francis commends the souls of the deceased to the merciful love of the Almighty, and he sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. Upon all affected by this tragedy, His Holiness invokes God’s blessings of strength and peace.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin

Secretary of State

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

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