Pope Prays at Ground Zero

Benedict XVI blesses 9/11 victims and their families
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 20, 2008 11:09 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI takes part in a candle lighting at ground zero, site of the attacks of the World Trade Center, as family members of victims of the attacks look on.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI got on his knees at Ground Zero today to bless the site where 2,600 people died and pray for the victims of the 9/11 attacks and their grieving families. "Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred," he said, in offering a prayer for peace. He then met with survivors and victims' families, as well as local leaders, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The pope spoke individually with representatives of 16 families out of an applicant pool of 1,100, with Cardinal Egan introducing each one for the papal tete a tete, the New York Times reports. "Being in front of the holy father hits me deep down inside," said one firefighter who survived a broken back suffered in the attack.