LUANDA, Angola, MARCH 22, 2009 ( Benedict XVI is grieving with families of the two girls who died Saturday when crushed by a stampede of people trying to see the Pope at the Dos Coqueiros Stadium in Luanda.

The Pope offered prayers for the victims and their families today at the beginning of the Mass with more than one million people in the Cimangola field outside Luanda.The Pontiff said: "We trust that Jesus embraces them in his kingdom. I express my solidarity with their families and friends, and my deep sorrow because this has happened when they went to see me."

The stampede, which injured 40 people, happened after the stadium's opening for the Pope's meeting with more than 30,000 youth. The news of the deaths was unknown until the after the meeting.