Pope prays for Newtown families

2012-12-16 14:11
People gather for a prayer vigil after 26 were killed in a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. (Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

People gather for a prayer vigil after 26 were killed in a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. (Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

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Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday prayed for families of the victims in the Newtown school massacre in the United States during his traditional weekly address to pilgrims in St Peter's Square.

A lone gunman killed 27 people, 20 of them children, during a rampage at a primary school at the town.

"I was deeply saddened by Friday's senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut. I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer," the pope told thousands of pilgrims.

"May the God of consolation touch their hearts and ease their pain," he said, before adding: "Upon those affected by this tragedy, and upon each of you, I invoke God’s abundant blessings!"

The Vatican sent a message of condolences from the pope on Friday to the local diocese in the US state of Connecticut where the tragedy took place.

The letter was read out at an emotional remembrance service in a local Catholic church.

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