By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday appealed to mediators involved in political talks in Nicaragua to find a peaceful solution to the socio-political crisis enveloping the nation.
Telling the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus prayer, that “since 27th February, Nicaragua has been holding important talks to resolve the serious socio-political crisis in which the country finds itself”, the Pope said he is praying for the initiative and he encouraged the parties involved “to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible for the good of all”.
Nigeria and Mali
Pope Francis also asked for prayers for the numerous victims of “brutal violence” in Nigeria and in Mali.
At least 134 Fulani herders were attacked and killed by gunmen in central Mali on Saturday, while as many killings of members of the Fulani tribe have been reported since February in Nigeria where over ten thousand people have fled their homes and their lands.
The attacks represent the deadliest in recent times in a region reeling from worsening ethnic and jihadist violence.
“May the Lord receive the victims, heal the injured, bring consolation to the families and convert cruel hearts” he said.
Blessed Mariano Mullerat i Soldevila
Pope Francis also recalled the beatification on Saturday of Mariano Mullerat i Soldevila in Spain, upholding him as a model for Christians.
He said the new blessed was a family father and a physician who cared for the physical and moral suffering of his brothers and sisters, and gave testimony with his life and martyrdom, to the primacy of charity and forgiveness.
“May he intercede for us and help us to walk the paths of love and brotherhood, despite our difficulties and tribulations” he said.
Day in Memory of Missionary Martyrs
The Pope also recalled the Day in Memory of Missionary Martyrs which is marked on 24 March.
“During 2018,” he said, “many bishops, priests, nuns and lay faithful around the world suffered violence, while forty missionaries were killed: almost twice as many as the previous year”.
Pope Francis pointed out that it is a “duty of gratitude for the whole Church” to keep in mind this contemporary ordeal of brothers and sisters who are persecuted or killed because of their faith in Jesus.
It is also a stimulus, he said, “to courageously witness our faith and our hope in He, who on the Cross, defeated hatred and violence forever with his love”.