Pope Francis on Divine Mercy Sunday makes an Appeal for Peace "I ask everyone to increase prayer for peace...Political leaders, please, listen to the voice of the people, who want peace..."

 On Divine Mercy Sunday, April 24, 2022, Pope Francis made an appeal for peace. After the Regina Caeli, the Pope made this call for an end to war and increased prayer:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today various Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, and several Latin communities, celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar. We celebrated it last Sunday, following the Gregorian calendar. I offer them my warmest wishes: Christ is risen, he is truly risen! May he fill with hope the good expectations of hearts. May he grant peace, outraged by the barbarity of war. Today marks two months since the beginning of this war: instead of stopping, the war has worsened. 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.

I renew my appeal for an Easter truce, a minimal and tangible sign of a desire for peace. The attack must be stopped, to respond to the suffering of the exhausted population; it must stop, in obedience to the words of the Risen Lord, who on Easter Day repeats to his disciples: “Peace be with you!” (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19.21). I ask everyone to increase prayer for peace and to have the courage to say, to show that peace is possible. Political leaders, please, listen to the voice of the people, who want peace, not an escalation of the conflict.

In this regard, I greet and thank the participants in the special Perugia-Assisi march for peace and fraternity, taking place today, as well as those who have joined in with similar events in other cities throughout Italy.

Today the bishops of Cameroon are making a national pilgrimage, with their faithful, to the Marian shrine of Marianberg, to reconsecrate the country to the Mother of God and to place it under her protection. I pray in particular for the return of peace to their country, which has been ravaged by violence in various regions for more than five years. Let us too raise our prayer, along with our brothers and sisters of Cameroon, that God may soon, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, grant true and lasting peace to this beloved country.

I greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims from Italy and from many other countries. In particular, I greet the Polish, with a thought for their compatriots who are celebrating the “Day of Good” promoted by Caritas, and also for the victims of accidents in mines. I greet the faithful of Milan, Faenza, Verolanuova, Nembro and the volunteers of the Order of Malta from Vicenza. A special greeting goes to the pilgrimage of young Confirmation candidates from the diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio, accompanied by their bishop, as well as the Confirmation candidates from Mondovì, Almenno San Salvatore, Albegno, Cazzago San Martino and Alta Padovana, and also to the group from Sant’Angelo Lodigiano and the altar boys from Spirano. I greet the devotees of Divine Mercy gathered here today in the church-sanctuary of Santo Spirito in Sassia; and the participants in the journey from the Sacra di San Michele to Monte Sant’Angelo.

I wish you all a blessed Sunday! And please do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch, and arrivederci.