Click here if you don’t see subscription options
A woman reacts after identifying the body of a loved one at Sri Uthai temple in Na Klang, Thailand.A woman reacts after identifying the body of a loved one at Sri Uthai temple in Na Klang, Thailand, Oct. 7, 2022, following a mass shooting in Uthai Sawan. A former police officer facing a drug charge burst into the daycare center Oct. 6, killing more than 30 people, including preschoolers, in the deadliest rampage in the nation's history. (CNS photo/Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—Pope Francis said he was “deeply saddened” after hearing the news of one of the world’s worst mass shootings at a daycare center in northeast Thailand.

In a message sent Oct. 7 by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, the pope offered prayers for the victims “of the horrific attack” that claimed the lives of 36 people, including at least 24 children, Oct. 6.

The pope “offers his heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this act of unspeakable violence against innocent children,” the cardinal wrote.

According to an AP report Oct. 7, Panya Kamrap, a former policeman, went to the daycare, where his child was enrolled but had been absent for the past month, before going on a shooting and stabbing rampage. He then went home where he shot and killed his wife and child before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities said Kamrap was dismissed from the police force earlier this year after a drug charge against him and that he was scheduled to appear in court Oct. 7 to face that charge, Reuters reported.

Cardinal Parolin said the pope prayed that God may grant “divine healing and consolation” to the grieving families and the injured.

Pope Francis “prays that, in this hour of immense sadness, they may draw support and strength from the solidarity of their neighbors and fellow citizens,” Cardinal Parolin wrote. “Upon all the beloved Thai people, the Holy Father invokes the blessings of peace and perseverance in every good.”

The latest from america

Statue of the Blessed Mother with her hands outstretched.
A Reflection for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, by Heather Trotta
Heather TrottaMarch 25, 2023
president donald trump speaks at a podium in front of televised american flag
Former Missouri senator John Danforth said he has revisited his 1999 report since learning about the Trump rally in Waco and noticed similarities between the rhetoric of Mr. Trump and the conspiracy theorists of the 1990s.
Christopher ParkerMarch 24, 2023
Several honduran women hold a large red sign calling for justice for Ana Lizeth Hernández
The protest was organized by women’s advocates and the family, friends and neighbors of Ana Lizeth Hernández, a 33-year-old woman who died of a gunshot wound to the head in her home on March 19.
Kevin ClarkeMarch 24, 2023
A Catholic priest and a man demonstrate the sacrament of confession
Archbishop Listecki said “the false assertions of Father James Connell have caused understandable and widespread unrest among the People of God, causing them to question if the privacy of the confessional can now be violated.”