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Pope offers prayers for victims, first responders in Boston

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Boston Marathon runner leaves flowers on doorstep of home of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in blast
Boston Marathon runner Megan Cloke pauses after leaving flowers on the doorstep of 8-year-old Martin Richard's home in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston April 16. The boy, a former student at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, was one of three people killed when two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the marathon the previous day. More than 140 people were injured, including the boy's mother and sister were seriously injured. (CNS photo/Brian Snyder, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service 

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis responded to the bombings in Boston by invoking peace for the souls of the departed, consolation for the suffering and strength for emergency and medical personnel.

In a message sent to Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said Pope Francis was “deeply grieved by the loss of life and grave injuries caused by the act of violence perpetrated” near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15.

The explosions left three people dead, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 140 wounded.

Cardinal Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, sent the message on behalf of the pope. The text was released by the Vatican April 16.

“In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy, His Holiness involves God’s peace upon the dead, his consolation upon the suffering and his strength upon all those engaged in the continuing work of relief and response,” the message said.

“At this time of mourning, the Holy Father prays that all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good, working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations yet to come,” the message said.

Cardinal O’Malley had also released a statement, saying, “In the midst of the darkness of this tragedy we turn to the light of Jesus Christ, the light that was evident in the lives of people who immediately turned to help those in need today.”

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