“My thoughts go out to all populations that thirst for reconciliation and peace”
On this day that is, as it were, the heart of the Holy Year of Mercy, my thoughts go out to all populations that thirst for reconciliation and peace.
I think in particular of the turmoil, here in Europe, of those who suffer the consequences of violence in Ukraine: of all those who remain in lands battered by the hostilities that have resulted already in thousands of deaths, and of all those, more than a million, who have been displaced by the grave situation that is ongoing there. The elderly and children are the ones who are primarily affected. In addition to accompanying them with my constant thoughts and prayers, I have felt the need to promote humanitarian aid for them. A special collection for this cause will be taken up in all the Catholic churches of Europe on Sunday, April 24.
I invite the faithful to unite themselves to this initiative of the Pope with a generous contribution. This gesture of charity, in addition to relieving material suffering, also expresses to Ukraine my own personal closeness and solidarity and that of the whole Church.
I deeply desire that without delay this might help to promote peace and respect for law in that sorely tried land.
And while we pray for peace, let us recall that tomorrow is the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Too many people continue to be killed or mutilated by these terrible weapons, and brave men and women risk their lives to de-mine areas. Please, let us renew our efforts for a world that is de-mined.
To conclude, I send my greetings to all those who have participated in this celebration, particularly those groups that cultivate the spirituality of Divine Mercy. Let us all together pray to Our Mother.