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Pope Francis Leads Prayers For Philippines Typhoon Victims

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POPE FRANCIS
Pope Francis gives his blessing during his meeting with the Italian Union for the transportation of sick people to Lourdes and International Shrines (UNITALSI) on November 9, 2013 in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty
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VATICAN CITY -- VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has led tens of thousands of people at the Vatican in silent prayer for the victims of the typhoon that has ravaged the Philippines.

The pope told a crowd of pilgrims, tourists and Romans in St. Peter's Square on Sunday that he wanted to assure the people of the Philippines and surrounding region that he feels close to them. He lamented the high toll of dead and the enormous damage, then requested silent prayer for "our brothers and sisters." Francis also said: "let us try to get our concrete aid" to those suffering from the storm.

The Philippines has the largest number of Catholics in Asia, and Filipinos are one of Rome's biggest immigrant communities.

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