VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI has assured victims of the Missouri tornado that he is close to them in prayer and is asking God for hope for the homeless and injured.
Benedict expressed his concern by telegram Wednesday. He says he is praying for consolation to those grieving and for strength and hope for the wounded and those left homeless when a tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday.
At least 122 people were killed and some 750 wounded by the deadliest single tornado since 1955.
Benedict notes the "immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead" and said he wanted to "convey to the entire community the assurance of his closeness in prayer." Some 8,000 buildings were destroyed.