‘May the Lord convert the hearts of the violent.’
During his Regina Caeli address yesterday, Pope Francis made this appeal as he condemned the brutal attack on Coptic Christians on Friday, May 26.
On Friday, assailants fired on passengers on a bus carrying Coptic pilgrims to the remote desert monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, around 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of the city of Minya. The so-called ‘Islamic State’ claimed responsibility for the attack, which claimed 29 lives, including children.
That evening, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram on the Pope’s behalf.
After reciting the midday prayer yesterday, the Pope said, “I wish to express my closeness to my dear brother [Coptic Orthodox] Pope Tawadros II and the Orthodox Coptic community in Egypt, which two days ago suffered another act of fierce violence.”
“Victims, faithful, including children, were going to a sanctuary to pray, and were killed,” he decried, “when they refused to deny their Christian faith.”
“The Lord welcomes these brave witnesses in His peace,” the Pope prayed, appealing, “may He convert the hearts of the violent.”
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