As Europe and the world celebrate Victory in Europe day and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Pope Francis is praying that the human race might learn from the past.
The Holy Father noted today’s VE Day anniversary at the end of the general audience on Wednesday.
“In the next few days various capital cities will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe,” he said.
“On this occasion I entrust to the Lord, by the intercession of Mary Queen of Peace, my hope that society may learn from the mistakes of the past,” Francis said, “and that, faced with the current conflicts that are tearing asunder various regions of the world, all civil leaders may persevere in their search for the common good and in the promotion of a culture of peace.”
Francis has on occasion said that the conflicts happening today amount to a sort of World War III.
“Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said last September during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial at Redipuglia cemetery in the north of the country.
Then last month, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a homily for a Mass marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Francis said, “On a number of occasions I have spoken of our time as a time of war, a third world war which is being fought piecemeal, one in which we daily witness savage crimes, brutal massacres and senseless destruction.”