Pope offers condolences to Hurricane Ida victims in U.S

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis offered his prayers and condolences on Sunday for the victims of Hurricane Ida, which killed dozens of people in the United States.

"I assure my prayers for the people of the United States who were stricken in the past days by a strong hurricane," he said at his Sunday blessing in St. Peter's Square.

"May the Lord welcome the souls of the dead and give strength to those who are suffering from this calamity."

More than 44 people were killed in northeast U.S. states and at least 12 in Louisiana, where the storm made landfall a week ago.

U.S. President Joe Biden will visit storm-ravaged New Jersey and New York on Tuesday, days after travelling to Louisiana.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Pravin Char)