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Pope Francis weeps at Ukraine suffering, calls for daily rosary for peace

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

A woman prays the rosary following an evening prayer service at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church in New York City Jan. 26, 2022. The pope has invited "every community and every believer" to join him in consecrating and entrusting Russia and Ukraine to Mary March 25. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Vatican City, May 1, 2022 / 10:57 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has again lamented the suffering caused by the invasion of Ukraine and encouraged the faithful to pray a rosary every day for peace.

Speaking to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square after the May 1 Regina Caeli prayers, the pope said his thoughts went immediately to the city of Mariupol, the “city of Mary” which has been “barbarously bombed and destroyed.”

“I suffer and weep, thinking of the suffering of the Ukrainian people and in particular of the weakest, the elderly and children,” he said. “There are even terrible reports of children being expelled and deported.”

He again called for safe humanitarian corridors for those trapped in the city, now largely under Russian control.

Pope Francis said he wondered whether peace really is being sought amid “a macabre regression of humanity.” He asked if everything possible is being done to “silence the weapons,” Vatican News reports.

“Let us take the path of dialogue and peace! Let us pray,” he said.

U.N. efforts to evacuate people from a Ukrainian-held Mariupol steel plant began Sunday in cooperation with the International Red Cross. Up to 1,000 civilians are still at the plant, as are about 2,000 Ukrainian fighters.

The evacuation effort is coordinating with Ukrainian and Russian officials

Up to 100,000 people could still be in the blockaded city, the Associated Press reports. Mariupol is a key port city near the Crimea Peninsula.

In early April the city’s mayor Vadym Boychenko has estimated at least 10,000 residents have died in the fighting, a number he claimed rose to 20,000 on Saturday, Newsweek reports. In a post to his Telegram channel, he said more than 40,000 people were forcibly deported.

On April 29, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that there have been 2,899 civilian deaths confirmed since the invasion began two months ago, but the actual number is believed to be much higher. The British Defense Ministry estimates that about 15,000 Russian military personnel have died in the fighting, and other sources have estimated thousands of Ukrainian military casualties as well.

Last Sunday, April 24, Pope Francis marked two months since the beginning of the war. He renewed his call for an Easter truce in Ukraine, linking his call for peace to a day when many Eastern Christians celebrate Easter.

“It is sad that in these days, which are the holiest and most solemn for all Christians, the deadly roar of weapons is heard rather than the sound of bells announcing the Resurrection; and it is sad that weapons are increasingly taking the place of words,” the pope said.


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3 Comments

  1. Meu Senhor Jesus Cristo,converte as nações do mundo inteiro ao Vosso Sagrado Coração e ao Imaculado Coração de Vossa Mãe Santíssima! Somente assim teremos Paz!

  2. I am so saddened that Pope Francis is not weeping over the many Christians all over the world being persecuted and killed, especially in India, Iraq, China, (Pope Francis asked Chinese Catholics to trust his deal with the Chinese government and to trust the Catholic Church’s discernment of God’s will, which for this deal means the Chinese government can appoint Bishops, because they insist on control of religion) Burma, Eritrea, Nigeria, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Vietnam. I am also saddened that Pope Francis does not humbly admit the great apostasy in the Catholic Church and in the world as well as the infiltration of homosexuality in the Priesthood and religious life as well as many Cardinals, Bishops and Priests from the Hierarchy on down enabling the homosexual and trans gender agenda to infiltrate Jesus’ One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and our Catholic schools. Pope Francis, what has been going on (Clerical Sexual Abuse, the covering up of the abuse and moving Priests to another Parish or ministry, instead of reporting the abuse to the authorities immediately, cancelling Priests who are loyal to Catholic doctrine and the Word of God, ) and continues to go on needs to be addressed by the Leader of the Catholic Church and not global warming and the environment. There is enough work to be done in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, Pope Francis, many of those responsible for souls in the Catholic Church have abandoned their flock or (who knows what is worse) are leading them astray. The Catholic Church should be changing the world and not the world changing the Catholic Church. The Hierarchy, Priests, teachers (in Catholic Schools) and the faithful in the Catholic Church have to be purified, and the damage cleaned up properly, before we make it our earthly goal global warming and the environment. The latter are not destroying our souls and our consciences!!! Pope Francis, I pray for you, when attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, after praying the Holy Rosary that you will make the souls and consciences of your flock your utmost priority. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you. Save souls!!! All the Saints in Heaven, please pray for Pope Francis!!

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