VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has prayed for the victims of attacks on Copts in Egypt.

Francis expressed closeness Sunday to “the Orthodox Copt brothers” of Egypt after the attacks two days earlier in a Cairo suburb. At least nine people died in the attack on a church and on a nearby store that was owned by a Copt.

The pope prayed that God “welcome the souls of the dead, sustain the wounded, their relatives and the entire community, and convert the hearts of the violent ones.”

Francis was greeting thousands of faithful who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his last Sunday noon window appearance of 2017.

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