Pope Expresses Profound Sadness Over Victims of Italian Bus Accident

38 Dead Returning from Pilgrimage Dedicated to Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

In a message sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Pope Francis sent condolences to the victims of a tragic bus accident on a highway between Naples and Canosa.

The incident occurred on Sunday when the driver lost control and hit several cars before running through a guardrail, plunging the bus 20 meters down a slope. Media reports say that 38 people have died, among them were children, while 11 are currently in serious condition. The passengers were returning to Naples from a pilgrimage dedicated to Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

Cardinal Bertone’s message, which was sent to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, conveyed the Holy Father’s profound sadness over the accident. The Pope, he stated, “raises fervent prayers for the souls of the deceased and conveys his deepest condolences to their families.”

“He invokes the Lord for the rapid recovery of the injured, and imparts the comfort of an apostolic blessing as a sign of consolation for those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.”

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