At the conclusion of Easter festivities, Pope Francis delivered his traditional Easter message in St. Peter’s Square and recited the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” benediction to make an urgent appeal for peace.
On Sunday, in the square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, the head of the Catholic Church told approximately 100,000 believers, “Let us hasten to follow paths of peace and brotherhood.”
The conflicts and suffering in the world dominated the Vatican’s entire Easter celebration. The pope urged “overcoming conflicts and divisions and opening our hearts to those who are most in need.”
On the most significant feast day of the Catholic Church, the 86-year-old called for trust – “trust between individuals, between peoples and nations” The message of Easter, when Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, should dispel the darkness that often envelops the world, said the pontiff.
Visibly moved, the pontiff reminded the devout in St. Peter’s Square of the conflict in Ukraine: “Guide the beloved Ukrainian people to peace, and shine your Paschal [Easter] light on the Russian people.
“Comfort the wounded and those who have lost loved ones to war, and let the prisoners return safely to their families.”
He exhorted the international community to end this conflict and all others that “stain the world with blood.”
Additionally, he prayed for war-torn and crisis-stricken regions, including Lebanon, Haiti, and South Sudan.