Pope Francis prays for victims of fire in Buenos Aires

Vatican City, Feb 7, 2014 / 04:32 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis sent a message of condolence, offering his prayers for the victims of a Feb. 5 fire at a warehouse in Buenos Aires that left seven firefighters and two National Guard soldiers dead.

“I ask God to grant his consolation and strength to those affected by such a tragic misfortune and to inspire feelings of fraternal solidarity in all in order to help confront this adversity in the best way possible,” Pope Francis said.

He said he was “deeply saddened” by the news of the intense fire in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Barracas. He prayed for “the eternal repose of the public servants who died carrying out their duties,” saying they fought “tenaciously” to extinguish the fire.

“I would like to convey my closeness and tell you that I feel very united to those who are suffering and brokenhearted because of such an unfortunate event.”

The Roman Pontiff also offered "a word of hope" to the families mourning the loss of their loved ones and to the families of the injured for their full recovery.

Pope Francis was Archbishop of Buenos Aires prior to his March 2013 election as Bishop of Rome.

The Holy Father concluded his message invoking the protection of Our Lady of Lujan, the patroness of Argentina, before imparting the Apostolic Blessing.

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