Dear brothers and sisters,
More than a month has gone by since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, of the beginning of this cruel and senseless war, that, like every war, represents a defeat for everyone, for everyone of us. We need to reject war, a place of death where fathers and mothers bury their children, where men kill their brothers and sisters without even having seen them, where the powerful decide and the poor die.
War does not devastate the present only, but the future of a society as well. I read that from the beginning of the aggression in Ukraine, one of every two children has been displaced from their country. This means destroying the future, causing dramatic trauma in the smallest and most innocent among us. This is the bestiality of war – a barbarous and sacrilegious act!
War should not be something that is inevitable. We should not accustom ourselves to war. Instead, we need to convert today’s anger into a commitment for tomorrow, because if, after what is happening, we remain like we were before, we will all be guilty in some way. Before the danger of self-destruction, may humanity understand that the moment has come to abolish war, to erase it from human history before it erases human history.
I beg every political leader to reflect on this, to dedicate themselves to this! And, looking on battered Ukraine to understand how each day of war worsens the situation for everyone. Therefore, I renew my appeal: Enough. Stop it. Silence the weapons. Move seriously toward peace. Let us continue to pray untiringly to the Queen of Peace, to whom we consecrated humanity, in particular Russia and Ukraine, with such a huge and intense participation for which I thank all of you. Let us pray together. Hail Mary….
I greet all of you from Rome and pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. In particular, I greet the members of the faithful from Mexico, Madrid and Lyon; the students from Pamplona and Huelva, and young people from various countries who participated in formation in Loppiano. I greet the parishioners of Our Lady of in Roma, and those from Saint George in Bosco, Bassano del Grappa and Gela; the Confirmation candidates from Frascati and the “Friends of Zacchaeus” groups from Reggio Emilia; as well as the Commission promoting the Perugia-Assisi March for Peace and Fraternity who have come with a group of schoolchildren to renew their commitment to peace.