NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Pope Francis contacted Timothy Cardinal Dolan to share his sympathies after the high-rise fire that killed 17 people Sunday in the Bronx.

“His holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the recent devastating fire in the Bronx in which a number of children lost their lives,” the message read. “In offering heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to those affected by this tragedy, he entrusts the victims and their families to the merciful love of almighty God and invokes upon all consolation and strength in the Lord.”

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“I am sure all join me in thanking the Holy Father, as we join with him in prayer for all those affected by this horrific tragedy,” Dolan tweeted.

The cardinal, himself, stopped by the scene Monday to pray for the victims.

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“Jesus said fear is useless, what is needed is trust,” he said. “We trust in our fire department. We trust in our experts. And we trust in the Lord. We will get through.”

At least 17 people, including eight children, died in the fire, and several other victims were hospitalized with critical injuries from smoke inhalation.

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CLICK HERE for what to do if you were impacted and how to help the survivors.

CBSNewYork Team