Pope Francis' Appeal for "Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer and fasting for peace"..."With a broken heart for what happens in Ukraine - and let's not forget the wars in other parts of the world..."
On Sunday, February 27, 2022, after his Angelus message from the Vatican the Pope reiterated his appeal. He asked all to join in prayer and fasting for peace.
FULL TEXT Appeal of Pope Francis after the Angelus message:
Dear brothers and sisters!
In recent days we have been shocked by something tragic: the war. We have prayed several times that this path would not be taken. And we don't stop praying, on the contrary, we beg God more intensely. For this reason, I renew my invitation to all to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine. A day to be close to the suffering of the Ukrainian people, to feel all brothers and sisters and implore God for an end to the war.Those who make war forget humanity. It does not start with the people, it does not look at the concrete life of the people, but puts before everything vested interests and power. He entrusts himself to the diabolical and perverse logic of weapons, which is the furthest from the will of God. And he distances himself from the common people, who want peace; and that in every conflict he is the real victim, who pays for the follies of war on his own skin. I think of the elderly, of those who seek refuge in these hours, of mothers on the run with their children… They are brothers and sisters for whom it is urgent to open humanitarian corridors and who must be welcomed.
With a broken heart for what happens in Ukraine - and let's not forget the wars in other parts of the world, such as in Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia… -, I repeat: shut up their weapons! God stands with peacemakers, not with those who use violence. Because those who love peace, as the Italian Constitution states, "repudiate war as an instrument of offense against the freedom of other peoples and as a means of resolving international disputes" (Art. 11).
Yesterday, in Granada, Spain, the priest Gaetano Giménez Martín and fifteen fellow martyrs, killed in odium fidei in the context of the religious persecution of the 1930s in Spain, were beatified. May the testimony of these heroic disciples of Christ arouse in all the desire to serve the Gospel with fidelity and courage. A round of applause for the new blessed.
I greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims!
I greet in particular las niñas Quinceñeras of Panamá; young university students from the diocese of Porto; the faithful of Mérida-Badajoz and Madrid, Spain; those of Paris and Poland; the groups of Reggio Calabria, Sicily and the Alta Langa Pastoral Unit; the confirmands from Urgnano and the boys from Petosino, diocese of Bergamo.
A special greeting to all who came on the occasion of Rare Disease Day, which occurs tomorrow: I encourage the various associations of patients and their families, as well as the researchers who work in this field. I am close to you! I greet the peoples present here… I also see many flags of Ukraine! (in Ukrainian) Praised be Jesus Christ!
I wish everyone a happy Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.