Pope Francis prays for the victims of Beirut explosion

VATICAN CITY -  Pope Francis on Wednesday called for prayers for those affected by the explosion in Beirut that has killed at least 100 people and wounded over 4,000.

 “We pray for the victims and for their families; and we pray for Lebanon” said the pontiff. Lebanon, which is in a state of economic crisis, was struck by a massive explosion in the port area of its capital city of Beirut on Tuesday.

 Francis, referencing Lebanon’s current state of precarity, asked for prayers for Lebanon “so that, through the dedication of all its social, political and religious elements, it might face this extremely tragic and painful moment and, with the help of the international community, overcome the grave crisis they are experiencing.” The Pope was speaking at the end of his weekly audience with the Vatican.