April 8, 2009 / 10:03 AM / 10 years ago

Pope says will visit Italy earthquake victims soon

VATICAN CITY, April 8 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Wednesday he intended visiting the victims of Italy’s earthquake soon, and praised a national show of unity over the country’s worst tremor in three decades.

"The pope shares your pain and your worries," he said during his general audience in St Peter’s Square. "I hope to visit you as soon as I can."

It was not clear when the pope could make the visit to the eastern Abruzzo area but security sources said it most likely would be after Easter since he has a full schedule of Holy Week activities over the next four days.

The pope praised the generosity shown by Italians since the quake struck on Monday as most victims were sleeping. "This solidarity is important in order to overcome such difficult trials," he said.

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