Pope Francis prayed that peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) lead to a definitive reconciliation for the good of society.
The Holy Father made his remarks prior to reciting the Angelus prayer with thousands of of people gathered in Havana’s Revolution Square for today’s Papal Mass.
Peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government have been taking place in Havana, Cuba, since 2012. Last month, the president of the Colombian Bishops Conference confirmed that Pope Francis has proposed to send an Observer of the Holy See in the peace negotiations.
The Pope called on the faithful to “lift our gaze to the Virgin Mary, our Mother. We ask her to teach us to stand beside the cross of our brothers and sisters who suffer.”
“With Mary our Mother, on the cross we can see who is truly “the greatest” and what it means to stand beside the Lord and to share in his glory.”
Regarding the Colombian peace talks, the Pope said he felt compelled to address the people of the nation in this crucial moment in their history.
“May the blood shed by thousands of innocent people during long decades of armed conflict, united to that of the Lord Jesus Christ crucified, sustain all the efforts being made, including those on this beautiful island, to achieve definitive reconciliation,” he said.
“Thus may the long night of pain and violence can, with the support of all Colombians, become an unending day of harmony, justice, fraternity and love, in respect for institutions and for national and international law, so that there may be lasting peace. Please, we do not have the right to allow ourselves yet another failure on this path of peace and reconciliation.”
The Pope also thanked Cuban President Raul Castro, who attended today’s Mass, for his role in hosting the peace talks in the island-nation.
Before reciting the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis concluded by calling on the faithful to join and place their concerns “before the heart of Christ.”
“Holy Mother,” he prayed, “I commend to you these your sons and daughters in Cuba. May you never abandon them!”