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.
Pope Francis, Regina Caeli, 24 April 2022