Pope Francis Touching Prayer for Ukraine at Vatican Screening for Evgeny Afineevsky New Film “Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”

On the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, Pope Francis attends a screening at the Vatican of the documentary "Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom," sponsored by filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky. (SEE the Official Trailer at Bottom of this post)  The Pope meets with those featured in the production, including the mother of a soldier from Azovstal and the owner of the city's steel mill. Praying in conclusion, he said may God "heal our hearts, our minds, our eyes."
The following are the words spoken yesterday afternoon by the Holy Father Francis in the New Synod Hall at the end of the screening of the documentary “Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”, promoted by the director Evgeny Afineevsky, in the presence of about 250 guests including the needy, refugees and members of the Ukrainian community in Rome, accompanied by His Eminence Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, Almoner of His Holiness, and representatives of voluntary associations:
Impromptu words of the Holy Father: 
"When God made man, he said to take the earth, make it grow, make it beautiful. The spirit of war is the opposite: to destroy, to destroy, not to let grow, to destroy everyone, men women, children, the elderly, everyone.
Today marks one year of this war. Let us look at Ukraine, let us pray for Ukraine and open our hearts to sorrow. Let us not be ashamed to suffer and weep, for a war is destruction, a war always diminishes us. May God make us understand this."

The Pope himself, seated in the back row, watched the documentary and met at the conclusion with some of the documentary's protagonists. Among them was Anya Zaitseva, the wife of a captured soldier, to the Pope's right with little Sviatoslav, one year and four months old, in her arms.
Before leaving, the Pope met with the mother of one of the soldiers barricaded in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. He was captured by Russian soldiers and is currently still a prisoner. With the help of a priest interpreter, the mother told the Pope that her son has lost 40 kg (88 lbs) in recent months and shared her wish that he and the other soldiers who have been fighting "in defense of freedom" may soon be freed. She presented the Pope with three gifts: a flower, symbolizing resistance until freedom is achieved; a yellow and blue flag of Ukraine, which Francis kissed and blessed; and a bag of salt, a typical gift in Ukraine. "It is the salt of the earth," she said, symbolizing the "strength" that is needed in this "very powerful, very tragic battle."
The Pope also greeted the owner of Azovstal steelworks who offered the symbolic gift of a bracelet made from metal produced by the plant. The Pope put it on his wrist and then asked that we pray for each other and especially the tormented people of Ukraine.