VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has led prayers in St. Peter's Square for the dead and displaced from the massive earthquake in Nepal and surrounding areas.
Francis called for assistance for the survivors during his weekly Sunday blessing. He said he was praying for the victims, the injured and "all those who are suffering from this calamity," and asked that they have the "support and fraternal solidarity" they need.
On Saturday, the Vatican secretary of state sent a formal telegram of condolences seeking to encourage rescue crews and comfort the survivors.
Saturday's magnitude 7.8 earthquake left at least 1,900 people dead, spreading horror from Kathmandu to small villages and to the slopes of Mount Everest, triggering an avalanche that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers.