Pope Francis prayed this Sunday for peace in Ukraine during the Easter Mass. The pope reappeared in St. Peter's Square after a few days hospitalized in the Gemelli polyclinic hospital in Rome. And, as is customary during Easter week, he gave his Urbi et Orbi blessing, transcribed in full by the website Catholic World Report.
In it he called to "help the beloved Ukrainian people ... and shed the light of Easter upon the people of Russia." He also dedicated part of his speech to pray for Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Turkey, which a few weeks ago suffered violent earthquakes that killed nearly 44,000 people:
Help the beloved Ukrainian people on their journey towards peace, and shed the light of Easter upon the people of Russia. Comfort the wounded and all those who have lost loved ones because of the war, and grant that prisoners may return safe and sound to their families. Open the hearts of the entire international community to strive to end this war and all conflict and bloodshed in our world, beginning with Syria, which still awaits peace. Strengthen all those affected by the violent earthquake in Turkey and in Syria itself. Let us pray for all those who have lost family and friends, and for those left homeless. May they receive consolation from God and assistance from the family of nations.
Pope Francis calls for peace talks to resume
However, it is the war that worries the pope the most. For this reason, after remembering the victims of the earthquake, he resumed his speech by refocusing on international conflicts. One of his main concernsthat of Israel and Palestine, which has recently worsened.
In view of this, the pope asked, before the 100,000 faithful gathered around St. Peter's Square, for peace talks to be resumed. Not only in Jerusalem, but also in other countries such as Lebanon and Tunisia:
On this day, Lord, we entrust to you the city of Jerusalem, the first witness of your resurrection. May there be a resumption of dialogue, in a climate of trust and reciprocal respect, between Israelis and Palestinians, so that peace may reign in the Holy City and in the entire region. Lord, aid Lebanon, which still seeks stability and unity, so that divisions may be overcome and all citizens cooperate for the common good of the country.
Be mindful of the beloved people of Tunisia, and in particular the young and those suffering from social and economic hardship, so that they may not lose hope and may work together to build a future of peace and fraternity.
Turn your gaze to Haiti, which has long experienced a grave social, economic and humanitarian crisis, and support the efforts of political actors and the international community to seek a definitive solution to the many problems that afflict that sorely tried people. Consolidate the processes of peace and reconciliation undertaken in Ethiopia and in South Sudan, and grant an end to violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.