Pope Benedict has called for prayers for the victims of a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Benedict, conducting Angelus from the window of his private residence overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, paid tribute to the "courageous" Japanese people and urged a swift rescue operation, Digtriad reports.
"Dear brothers and sisters, the images of the tragic earthquake and the consequent tsunami in Japan have left a strong impression on us all. I would like to renew my spiritual closeness to the dear people of the country, who with dignity and courage are facing the consequences of such disasters. I pray for the victims and their families, and for those who suffer from these terrible events. I encourage those, who with commendable speed, are working to bring help. We remain united in prayer. The Lord is close to us," Pope Benedict said.
The world's third-largest economy is struggling to respond to a disaster of epic proportions, with more than 1 million without water or power and whole towns wiped off the map.
The pope also prayed for the rescue workers, faced with scenes of devastation.
"As I greet you this morning, I ask you to join me in praying for the victims of the recent devastation visited upon Japan. May the bereaved and injured be comforted and may the rescue workers be strengthened in their efforts to assist the courageous Japanese people," he said.
Pope Sends Prayers And Condolences To Japan Quake Victims