“May every heart hardened by hatred be converted to peace …”
Pope Francis urged faithful to pray for this after reciting the midday Angelus prayer with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The Holy Father’s remarks came as he lamented: “I am thinking, in particular, of the beloved populations of Pakistan and of Iraq, scourged by cruel terrorist acts in past days.”
In Pakistan’s Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in the southern city of Sehwan in Sindh province, a suicide attack Thursday, Feb. 16, claimed at least 75 lives and injured at least another 200 people, during the Sufi ritual of Dhamal, reported CNN.
Also last Thursday, in the south of Iraq’s capital of Baghdad, a car packed with explosives was blown up, claiming at least 55 lives and wounding dozens more, reported Aljazeera. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for both attacks.
“Let us pray for the victims, for the wounded and for their relatives.” the Pope prayed remembering the countries’ recent tragedies.
“Let us pray ardently that every heart hardened by hatred is converted to peace, in keeping with God’s will.”
The Holy Father then asked all gathered to join in him in a moment of silence and in praying a Hail Mary.
Pope Francis concluded wishing all those present in St. Peter’s Square a good Sunday, pointing out the lovely weather, a good lunch, and reminding them to pray for him.
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