• Sunday, July 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Easter: Pope Francis prays for people slain in war

Climate crisis: Pope Francis appeal for political shift to halve global warming curve

…Renews appeal for ceasefire in Gaza

Pope Francis has prayed for people slain in war across the world, just as he renewed his appeal for a ceasefire in the Gaza strip, as he called for tireless efforts to end the Israel-Hamas war that has brought untold suffering to the civilian population.

The Pope stated tis during his Wednesday General Audience in the Vatican, while remembering the countless lives lost to Russia’s war in Ukraine. “Oleksandr, read the New Testament and the Psalms, and he had underlined in the Book of Psalms, Psalm 129: ‘Out of the depths, I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.’ This 23-year-old died in Avdiivka in the war.”

According to the Pope, Oleksandr (Alexander) a 23 years old soldier left behind a life. “He left behind a life, this is his rosary and his New Testament, which he read, and with which he prayed.”

He further called on the faithful in St. Peter’s Square to join him in observing a moment of silence for those slain across the world. “Thinking of this young man and so many others like him, who have died in this madness of war. War always destroys; let us think of them and pray.”

Similarly, reflecting on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, Pope Francis appealed for an immediate ceasefire in the Strip during his weekly General Audience in the Vatican, lamenting the tragic news that continues to come from the Middle East. “I reiterate my firm request for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.”

He expressed his deep regret over the staff members of the World Central Kitchen killed as they distributed humanitarian aid in Gaza, and reassured his prayers for them and their families. “I renew my appeal for the exhausted and suffering civilian population to be allowed access to humanitarian aid and for the hostages to be released immediately.”

On Tuesday, Israeli airstrikes killed seven aid workers in Gaza, who were delivering food to besieged Palestinians with the US-based charity World Central Kitchen. Those killed included three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen, and a Palestinian.

The Pope called for tireless efforts to put an end to this and other wars that continue to bring death and suffering to so many parts of the world. “Let us avoid any irresponsible attempts to escalate the conflict in the region,” he said, calling on the faithful to join him in prayer for the silencing of weapons and the return of peace to the world.