Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church, congratulated President-elect Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaClinton suggests Russia grooming Gabbard to run as third-party 2020 candidate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings Obama: Cummings showed us 'the importance of checks and balances' MORE in a personal telegram Wednesday, Vatican officials told reporters.

Benedict's note expressed his prayers for God's blessing on Obama after last night's presidential election, the Associated Press reported.

"The pope expresses the wish that the blessing of God will support him (Obama) and the American people so that with all people of good will, a world of peace, solidarity and justice can be built," said Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the pope.

According to CNN's exit polls, Obama won Catholic voters in the presidential election, taking 54 percent to Republican John McCain's 45 percent.

-Michael O'Brien