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Pope Francis prays for Tonga

Voices spiritual closeness to tsunami-hit islanders

(ANSA) - ROME, JAN 19 - Pope Francis told his weekly general audience Wednesday that he was praying for the Pacific island nation of Tonga where a volcanic eruption on Saturday unleashed a deadly and devastating tsunami, killing at least three people.
    Francis expressed his spiritual closeness to the people of Tonga following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano.
    The pontiff asked God to relieve the Tongan people's suffering and called on everyone to join in prayer for these brothers and sisters.
    "My thoughts go out to the peoples of the Tonga Islands who in recent days were affected by the eruption of an underwater volcano, which caused considerable material damage. I am spiritually close to all those who are sorely-tried, and I implore from God relief in their suffering. I invite everyone to join me in prayer for these our brothers and sisters." (ANSA).


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