Pope Appeals for Peace in Ukraine and Central African Republic

Highlights Unifying Power of Communication and a Recent Beatification

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After reciting the Regina Caeli prayer Sunday afternoon from his window overlooking thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis appealed for calm in Eastern Europe and Africa.

Drawing attention to continued tensions in Ukraine and the Central African Republic, he said he prays for them with a «sad soul», and renewed his appeal that all the parties involved overcome their misunderstandings and «dialogue be sought with patience and appeasement.”

He also informed those gathered that it was the World Day of Social Communications. This year’s theme, “Communication in the service of the culture of encounter”,  means social communication can promote the unity of the human family, solidarity and commitment to a dignified life for all.

The Holy Father prayed that “communication, in every form, be effectively in the service of encounters between persons, communities, nations; may they be encounters based on respect and mutual openness.”

The Pope also recalled Saturday’s beatification of Mother Esperanza in Collevalenza, Spain. Born with the name María Josefa Alhama Valera, she founded the Handmaids and Sons of Merciful Love. “May her witness help the Church to announce everywhere, with concrete, daily deeds, the infinite mercy of the heavenly Father for every person,” the Pope said. 

The Pope also greeted young people preparing to receive confirmation, encouraging them to be joyful witnesses to Jesus. And he sent a “special thought” to a large group of Italian campers and cyclists who launched the initiative “1 Kilometer for Syria.”

He closed asking for the faithful’s prayers.


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