Following the canonization of four new Saints, Pope Francis prayed for the country of Burundi following a failed coup attempt against the government of President Pierre Nkurunziza.
While the coup was suppressed, protests against the current administration continue in the capital Bujumbura. Citizens were angered following an announcement by President Nkurunziza would violate the country’s Constitution by seeking a third term in office.
“May the Lord help all to flee the violence and to act responsibly for the good of the country,” he said.
The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s words prior to the recitation of the Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters,
At the conclusion of this celebration, I would like to greet all of you who have come to honor the new Saints, especially the official delegations of Palestine, France, Italy, Israel and Jordan. I affectionately greet the Cardinals, the Bishops, the priests, as well as the spiritual children of the four Saints. Through their intercession, may the Lord grant a new missionary impulse to their respective countries of origin. Inspired by their example of mercy, charity and reconciliation, Christians of this earth look with hope towards the future, following a path of solidarity and fraternal coexistence.
I extend my greetings to the families, parish groups, associations and schools present, in particular the confirmands of the Archdiocese of Genova. A special thought goes to the faithful of the Czech Republic, gathered at the Shrine of Svaty Kopećek, in Olomuc, who today remember the 20th anniversary of Saint John Paul II’s visit.
Yesterday in Venice, the priest Luigi Caburlotto was proclaimed Blessed, a pastor, educator and founder of the Children of St. Joseph. Let us give thanks to God for this exemplary Pastor, who led an intense spiritual and apostolic life, completely dedicated to the good of souls.
I would also like to invite you to pray for the dear people of Burundi, who are living through a delicate moment: may the Lord help all to flee the violence and to act responsibly for the good of the country.
With filial love, we now turn to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, Queen of the Saints and model of all Christians.[Translation by Junno Arocho Esteves]