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Pope Francis has sent his “sympathy and closeness in prayer” to the people of Boston.

The telegram sent on his behalf reads: “In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy, His Holiness invokes 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.

“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 (cf. Rom 12:21), working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations yet to come.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, said: “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. We stand in solidarity with our ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in the commitment to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing.”

Let us offer prayers for the victims, for the first responders, and for the city of Boston.

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