Benedict XVI Prays for 500 Dead in India

VATICAN CITY, JULY 28, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI expressed his «profound solidarity» to the people of the Indian state of Maharashtra, where record monsoon rains have left more than 500 dead.

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In a telegram sent in his name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, to Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, Benedict XVI sent «the assurance of his profound solidarity and pastoral concern.»

«With fervent prayers that Almighty God will grant eternal peace to those who have died and consolation and strength to the homeless, injured and suffering, he invokes the divine gifts of wisdom, strength and peace upon the civil authorities and those engaged in the massive work of relief and rebuilding,» states the papal message.

Officials reported that some 273 people died on Tuesday in the city of Bombay, when, during the heaviest monsoon rains, individuals were killed by collapsing walls, trapped in cars or electrocuted.

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