Pope prays for war victims as Ukraine conflict marks six months
By Vatican News staff reporter
At the conclusion of the General Audience, Pope Francis renewed his invitation to everyone to pray for peace from the Lord for "the beloved Ukrainian people who have been suffering the horrors of war for six months now."
He recalled the dangerous situation concerning the Zaporizhia nuclear plant, and asked that concrete steps be taken to avert the risk of a catastrophe.
The Pope also recalled all war prisoners, saying they are close to his heart, especially those in precarious condition, asking that the authorities work for their realease.
Madness of war
Pope Francis recalled in particular the many children who have died, as well as the many wounded and refugees, stressing how many orphans there are now, both Ukrainian and Russian, saying "orphanhood has no nationality, they have lost their father or mother, whether Russians or Ukrainians."
The Pope went on to stress how many innocents are suffering so much cruelty, paying for the folly of war, "the madness, the madness on all sides - because war is madness."
He also recalled a young woman killed near Moscow in a car bombing.
"The madness of war," he said. "I think of that poor girl blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow. The innocent pay for war, the innocent! Let us think about this reality and say to each other: war is madness."
The Pope also decried those who profit from the weapons trade as offenders who kill humanity.
Remembering forgotten wars
In conclusion, Pope Francis called on us to remember the suffering in other countries where war has caused havoc, including Syria for over ten years, Yemen where so many children are dying of hunger, and the Rohingya in Myanmar who are forced to flee their lands due to injustice.
Today in a special way, the Pope said we remember Ukraine and Russia, both countries he has consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying that, "may she as Mother see these two countries - Ukraine and Russia - and may she bring us peace. We need peace."
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