Pope Prays for Joplin Tornado Victims

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday assured survivors of the deadliest tornado in the United States since 1950 that he was close to them spiritually and praying for hope and strength for the homeless.

"The Holy Father has followed with deep concern the aftermath of the catastrophic tornado which struck Joplin on Sunday," read a text of a telegram of solidarity sent to the local bishop in Missouri and made public by the Vatican.

In a telegram to Bishop James Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, whose diocese includes Joplin, the town that absorbed the brunt of the storm, the Pope offered his prayers for those who were killed in the tornado and his condolences to their survivors