Francis Marks St. John Paul II's Birthday Today

Francis Also Offers Ukrainian Greetings, Prays Future Generations Have Peace

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During his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled that today marks the birthday of St. Pope John Paul II.
“Today, the day of the birth of Saint John Paul II, I cordially greet all the Polish pilgrims present,” Francis said in his remarks.
“I join myself spiritually to the President of the Republic of Poland, with the soldiers and participants in the Mass at the Polish cemetery at Monte Cassino in memory of the fallen, as well as to those who are gathered in Toruń for the consecration of the Shrine of Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelization and of St. John Paul II.”
Pope Francis prayed that these events for the Polish people are an invitation to pray for peace, for the Church in Poland, and for the prosperity of their country.
“Praised be Jesus Christ,” he concluded.
Pray for Ukraine
The Pope also gave greetings today to Slovak and Ukrainian pilgrims, saying, “I greet with special affection Ukrainian children, orphans, and refugees because of this armed conflict that still is going on in the east of the country.
The Pope concluded his remarks, praying, “By the intercession of Blessed Mary, I renew my prayer that a long-lasting peace is reached, one that may lift up this population, which has been so tested, and offer a serene future to new generations.”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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