Pope Francis expresses closeness with pilgrims who lost their lives during Hajj
Sept 25, New York: While speaking at a Mass at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral Pope Francis has expressed closeness with the families of the 700 pilgrims who lost their lives in a stampede outside the holy city of Mecca.
Speaking during the evening prayer service on Thursday, the pope said: "my sentiments of closeness in the face of the tragedy that their people suffered today in Mecca." "In this moment of prayer, I unite myself with you all in prayer to God, our father, all powerful and merciful."
At least 717 pilgrims were killed and over 800 sustained injuries in a stampede on Thursday. According to reports, at least 400 other pilgrims had been injured in the stampede that took place between Mount Arafat and Mecca's Grand Mosque as more than a million pilgrims were taking part in the last major rite of the Hajj in Mina,
During his short visit to the US the pope will address world leaders at the UN, as they participate in an interfaith service at the September 11 memorial museum at Ground Zero, and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden.
Thousands of people had cheered and waved flags along the streets that led to the cathedral as the pope passed them.
The Oslo Times