Pope Francis insisted on his call for peace in Ukraine: “Let us pray for the wounded, for those who have died”

Pope Francis speaks during the weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican, May 17, 2023. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane (GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE/)

The Pope has renewed his appeal for the peace in Ukrainejust four days after receiving in the Vatican to the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenskywhich lasted 40 minutes and in which the Ukrainian leader asked the Pontiff to join his ten-point peace strategy, which includes Russia abandoning all positions in the country, while rejecting any mediation in the conflict.

“Let us pray to the Lord for the tormented Ukraine: there is so much suffering there!” he exclaimed. Francisco during the general audience this Wednesday at the Saint Peter’s Square. In his greetings to the Italian-speaking faithful, he urged them to pray “for the wounded, for the children, for those who have died, so that peace may return.” The Pope also referred to Ukraine in his greetings to the Polish faithful by entrusting to God “all the difficult questions” of this homeland and those of other countries, in particular the question of peace in Ukraine.

During the meeting between the Pope and the Ukrainian leader for 40 minutes this Saturday, Zelensky defended his peace plan “as the only possible way out of the war” and also asked him to join him.

Francis has dedicated this Wednesday’s catechesis to the figure of Saint Francis Xavier, “the greatest missionary of modern times”, who became the patron of Catholic missions. Francisco Javier was born into a noble but impoverished family from Navarra in 1506. He studied at the University of Paris to obtain a well-paid ecclesiastical position that would ensure his future.

Pope Francis meets with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky in a private audience at the Vatican, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (Vatican News via AP, File)
Pope Francis meets with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky in a private audience at the Vatican, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (Vatican News via AP, File) (Vatican News/)

“He is a pleasant and bright young man, who excels in sports and in study. At his school he meets an older and somewhat special classmate: Ignatius of Loyola –has explained–. Thus begins the first of a large host of passionate missionaries, willing to endure immense difficulties and dangers, to reach lands and meet peoples of totally unknown cultures and languages, moved solely by the strong desire to make Jesus Christ and his Gospel known. .


In this sense, he recalled that boat trips at that time “were very hard and dangerous” and that even “many died on the voyage due to shipwrecks or diseases.” “Today, unfortunately, they die because we let them die in the Mediterranean,” he lamented.

In the same way, he has considered that today “there are many priests, lay people and nuns who go on missions.” In this sense, he has stated that “there are many men and women who have done it in an exemplary manner” and has referred to them as “hidden missionaries”. Speaking about apostolic zeal, he stated that going out as a missionary “is great, leaving the homeland to preach the Gospel.”

(With information from Europa Press)

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