Pope Francis is praying for the victims and families of the 77 people who have died in a train derailment near the Spanish pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela, reports the Catholic News Agency.
During a July 24 evening press conference in Rio de Janeiro, the Vatican press office director, Father Federico Lombardi sj, said the Pope has been informed of the tragic accident, which 'deeply moved' him and he is now praying for all the victims and their relatives.
Fr Lombardi also asked the journalists present to observe one minute of silence for the victims of Spain’s deadliest train crash since 1972.
Cardinal Antonio María Rouco of Madrid, who was the archbishop of the Santiago de Compostela for 10 years, called the Pope to tell him the news because he felt terrible about it and 'wanted to talk to the Pope with all his heart,' Fr Lombardi said.
The current Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Julián Barrio Barrio, said he is 'shocked' at the horrific accident and that it has left him 'almost speechless.'
In response, he is giving 'all his support to the families of the victims, in these difficult times' and is 'raising up his prayers for the deceased.'
The city has also cancelled the festivities for the Feast of St James, which is the most important feast of the year for the archdiocese and the region.