Italian officials say a wooden boat carrying migrants towards Italy disintegrated before it could reach shore, killing 43 people, including a baby.
Authorities say about 80 people survived the ordeal.
Some of the bodies washed ashore Sunday at a seaside resort in the province of Crotone.
At least 100 people were aboard the ship, officials said.
“It’s an enormous tragedy,” Crotone Mayor Vincenzo Voce said.
Pope Francis said Sunday, “I pray for each of them, for the missing and the other migrants who survived.”
Francis also said he also was praying for the rescuers “and for those who give welcome” to the migrants.