Pius XII after the Rome bombings on 19 July 1943 Pius XII after the Rome bombings on 19 July 1943 

Pope prays for humankind to be freed from war and violence

Pope Francis recalls the bombing, eighty years ago, on the Roman neighbourhood of San Lorenzo and denounces that even today these tragedies are repeated making one ask: "How is this possible?

By Francesca Merlo

After leading the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis recalled that "eighty years ago, on 19 July 1943, some districts of Rome, were bombed". He noted that the tragic anniversary marks an occasion, once again, to renew a strong appeal that says 'no' to war and the loss of historical memory. 

At that time, in the Roman district of San Lorenzo alone, the bombings killed 717 people and injured 4,000 others, but for the entire city the toll was much more serious: 3,000 dead and 11,000 injured in the numerous districts that were bombed. As testified on the site of the Historical Museum of Liberation in Rome, 10 thousand houses were destroyed and 40 thousand citizens were left homeless. This first bombing of Rome over the San Lorenzo district took place on 19 July 1943.

Have we lost our memory?

Pope Francis noted that "unfortunately, even today these tragedies are repeated. How is this possible? Have we lost our memory? May the Lord have mercy on us and deliver the human family from the scourge of war."

A prayer for Ukraine

Finally, continuing on the theme of war, Pope Francis prayed in particular for "the dear Ukrainian people who are suffering so much."


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16 July 2023, 12:39