Pope

Pope Francis prays for victims of Istanbul terrorist attack

“May the Lord convert the hearts of the violent, and sustain our feet on the way of peace.”

Pope Francis blesses the pallium for the new Metropolitan Archbi

© Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday called for a moment of silent prayer for the victims of the suicide terrorist attack at Istanbul’s international airport, which has killed dozens of people and left over 200 injured.

“Last evening in Istanbul, a brutal terrorist attack was carried out which killed and injured many people,” the pope said after praying the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square with faithful and pilgrims gathered for the feast of the Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome.

“We pray for the victims, for their families, and for the beloved people of Turkey. May the Lord convert the hearts of the violent, and sustain our feet on the way of peace.”

“Let us all pray in silence,” Pope Francis said before reciting a Hail Mary with faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

According to the latest reports, at least 41 people were killed on Tuesday evening, when suicide bombers struck the Ataturk Airport. An additional 239 people are reported to be wounded.

Officials say they believe Islamic State militants are behind the June 29 attack, the latest in a series escalated attacks during Ramadan which ends July 6.

Read Pope Francis address address for the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul here.

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Diane Montagna

Diane Montagna is Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.