Vatican City (AP) — In an Easter message to highlight hope, Pope Francis on Sunday invoked prayers for the people of Ukraine and Russia, praising nations that take in refugees and calling on Israelis and Palestinians. tin in the most recent wave in the deadly violence of the manufacturing “climate of faith”.
Francis, together with dozens of prelates and ten thousand faithful, celebrated the Easter Mass in the flower-decorated St. Peter’s Square, affirming in the Christian faith that Jesus rose from the dead days after his crucifixion.
The 86-year-old pontiff topped off the celebration with a traditional speech about troubled places in the world. Francis, encouraging “confidence in individuals, peoples and nations”, said that the Easter joy “illuminates the darkness and gloom in which the whole world is often involved”.
The Pope’s Paschal message is known by its Latin name, Urbi et Orbi, which means to the city and the world.
When Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine In February 2022, Francis repeatedly called for an end to the conflict and asked for prayers for the Ukrainian people “martyrs”.
Ukrainian ambassadors have complained that he is not coming down hard enough on Russia, and particularly Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the Vatican tries to alienate Moscow.
“Help the beloved people of Ukraine on their way to peace, and shed the light of Easter on the people of Russia,” Francis implored God in his Easter prayer, which he delivered in a chair in the middle of the podium of St. Peter’s Basilica. facing the square. “Comfort the wounded and all who have lost” because of the war, and give the captives that they may return safe to their families.
He urged the international community to end the war in Ukraine and “all conflicts and bloodshed in the world, starting from Syria.who still remains at peace.
Francis also prayed for those who lost loved ones in the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey two months ago, claiming tens of thousands of lives.
Francis, the renewed violence that affects both Israelis and Palestinians in recent days, Francis “demanded the resumption of dialogue in faith and reciprocal respect, between Israelis and Palestinians, so that peace reigns in the Holy City and in the Kingdom”. of the whole country, “respecting Jerusalem.”
But Francis also noted progress on some fronts.
“We are happy about the signs of hope that reach us from so many nations, beginning with those who offer help, take on those fleeing from every war and want”, without naming any particular nations.
In much of Europe, both in the United States and elsewhere, political and social debate is raging over how asylum seekers, migrants and refugees should be treated, and whether they should be allowed entry.
Francis also prayed that national leaders “make sure that no man or woman is discriminated against” and “full respect for people’s rights and democracy”.
The Pope lamented that the people of Tunisia, especially the youth, are struggling with social and economic difficulties.
In the last two weeks, dozens have died or were left missing, after they tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia.
The Pope included Lebanon and two African nations, this year between the nations of South Sudan and the Congo in need of ending divisions and building reconciliation.
Speaking about Haiti, he called on “political actors and the international community to find a definitive solution to the many problems that people are seriously trying to solve.”
The bloody conflict cited by Francis with the riot of bright colors of orange-red tulips, yellow forsythia and narcissus, hyacinths and other colorful flowers of the season, which decorated St. Peter’s Petrine. The flowers were trucked in trucks from the Netherlands.
From the end of the Pope, some 100,00 people flocked to the Pope’s speech at square time, according to the Vatican crowd.
A canopy at the edge of the steps in the square covers the pontiff, who was held in the public eye for the 12:25 a.m. Mass after a 2.25-hour-long Easter vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Basilica the night before.
Francis was in the hospital March 29-April 1 for treatment of bronchitis. Still recovering, he passed the traditional procession in Rome’s Colosseum on Good Friday due to unseasonably cold night temperatures.
Near the end of his more than two-hour long Easter Sunday appearance, Francis seemed to run out of steam. His voice grew hoarse, at one point he stopped coughing.
However, he made several laps through the squares in the popemobile after mass, waving and smiling to the happy well-wishers.