Pope Francis Meets with Catholics of Sri Lanka on Anniversary of Attack and Appeals to Authorities for Clarification about the Tragic Event
MEETING OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
WITH THE COMMUNITY OF SRILANKESI IN ITALY
Vatican Basilica, Altar of Confession
Monday, 25 April 2022
Dear Sri Lankan brothers and sisters, peace to you!
I greet you with the words of the risen Jesus, which resounded in the Church during the Easter Octave.
You have come from Rome and from various parts of Italy on a pilgrimage to the Tomb of St. Peter, led by your Pastors. It is a gesture of faith and it is also a beautiful witness. I thank you for that.
The reason that has summoned you here is the anniversary of the tragic events which, on Easter 2019, sowed death and terror in Sri Lanka. Today you offered the Eucharistic Sacrifice in suffrage for the victims of those terrible attacks, and you prayed for those injured - some of whom are present here - and for their families, as well as for all the people of Sri Lanka. With all my heart I join in your prayer.
“Peace be with you”, the Risen Lord repeats. He is our Savior, He alone! Faced with the horror and absurdity of certain acts, which seem impossible to be committed by men, the work of the Evil One is evident. And then we understand why the Son of God, the Innocent, the Holy, the Righteous, had to die crucified to save us. He took upon himself not only death, but the cruelty of evil, hatred, fratricidal violence. His Cross and his Resurrection are a light of hope in the thickest darkness. Let us pray today for all the victims of violence and war, especially terrorism.
Dear brothers and sisters, together with you I wish to pray for your homeland, Sri Lanka, which I had the joy of visiting in January 2015. Let us pray for the rulers, for those who have social and educational responsibilities and for all the people. May the present difficulties be solved with the commitment and collaboration of all. Let us pray for the Church in Sri Lanka: through the intercession of Mary Most Holy be filled with the Holy Spirit and joyfully announce the Gospel of Christ the Savior.
Thanks again, dear friends, for your testimony.
I would not like to end without making an appeal to the authorities of your country. Please and for the love of justice, for the love of your people, that it is definitively clarified who was responsible for these events [the Easter 2019 attacks]. This will bring peace to your conscience and to the Homeland.
I cordially bless each of you and your families. And you, please, don't forget to pray for me. Thanks!