The Vatican released the following message this evening following the massive tornado that struck Oklahoma yeserday.
Message sent through the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington to the Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City
(21 May 2013)
The Holy Father has followed with deep concern the aftermath of the devastating tornado which has struck Oklahoma and he asks you convey to the entire community the assurance of his solidarity and closeness in prayer. Conscious of the tragic loss of life and the immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead, he asks Almighty God to grant eternal rest to the departed, comfort to the afflicted, and strength and hope to the homeless and the injured. In a particular way he commends to the Father of mercies the many young children among the victims and their grieving families. Upon the local civil and religious leaders, and upon all involved in the relief efforts, His Holiness invokes the Risen Lord’s gifts of consolation, strength and perseverance in every good.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State
Pope Francis also prayed for the victims of the tragedy this morning during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel:
"Let us pray for the victims," Pope Francis said, "and those who are missing, especially children, affected by the violent tornado that hit Oklahoma City yesterday. Hear us, O Lord."
He then tweeted from his @Pontifex account: “I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children. Join me in praying for them.”