Monday 1 April 2024

Pope Francis thanks for good wishes and hopes for peace

Defying age and health difficulties, Pope Francis takes on vested interests  to speak out on humanitarian crises

On Easter Monday, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude for the good wishes and prayers addressed to him over the past few days

He hoped that the gift of peace would arrive where it is needed most, said Francis in St Peter's Square: among people who have been worn down by war, hunger and oppression.

Before the midday prayer, he called on the faithful to share the joy of Jesus' resurrection. 

"Let us try, each of us, to remember a moment that was so happy that it was difficult to put it into words, but that we wanted to tell everyone about immediately!" 

Easter joy is more than that and grows when it is shared, said the Pope.

In his Easter message on Sunday, Francis had already made an urgent appeal for peace and recalled numerous wars and conflicts. 

He called for humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, the immediate release of Hamas hostages and a ceasefire. 

The Catholic Church leader also commented on the war in Ukraine and demanded the exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine. 

"War is always an absurdity, war is always a defeat," said Francis.