RELIGION

Pope prays for Ischia victims as Italy recalls bigger quake

Pope Francis is praying for the victims of an earthquake on the resort island of Ischia that struck as Italy prepares to mark the first anniversary of a far more deadly temblor on the mainland.

Francis led pilgrims and tourists at his general audience Wednesday in prayer for the victims and those who lost their homes in the 4.0-magnitude quake Monday. Two women died and two dozen were injured. Rescue crews also pulled three brothers and their father alive from the rubble of their collapsed home.

Thursday will mark the first anniversary of a much stronger, 6.2-magnitude quake that destroyed several towns in central Italy, killing nearly 300 people. A candle-lit procession is scheduled for Wednesday at midnight in the hardest-hit town, Amatrice.