Pope Francis prayed, inter alia, in his Christmas message to Ukraine so that – as he said – “the cancerous metastasis of the conflict does not spread there”. He appealed not to be indifferent to the fate of migrants and refugees in the world.
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Francis, speaking from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica to hundreds of people gathered in the rain in the square, emphasized: “Let us think of the Syrian people who have been going through a war for over ten years, which caused many victims and countless refugees. Let’s look at Iraq, which still has a hard time getting back on its feet after a long conflict.
– Let us hear the cry of children rising in Yemen, where a terrible tragedy, forgotten by all, has been going on in silence for years, causing death every day – he called.
The Pope recalled the constant tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and their increasingly serious social and political consequences.
– Let’s not forget about Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born, which is also going through difficult times due to the economic problems caused by the pandemic, which prevented pilgrims from reaching the Holy Land – he added.
He noted that an unprecedented crisis continues in Lebanon. He also prayed for consolation for the Afghans who, he said, “have been harshly suffered by conflicts for over forty years, forcing many to leave their homeland.”
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Conflict in Ukraine
He prayed for “light and support for those who believe and act, even going against the tide for encounter and dialogue.” Turning to Jesus, he added: “Do not let the cancerous metastasis of the conflict spread in Ukraine.”
Vaccines for the most needy
In the following part of the message, Francis emphasized: “Give the sick to health and inspire all people of good will to find the most appropriate solutions to overcome the sanitary crisis and its consequences.”
He called for vaccines to be provided to the most deprived groups of the population.
Prayer for migrants
– Child of Bethlehem, make the numerous civil and military prisoners of war from recent conflicts, and those who are imprisoned for political reasons, able to return home soon – pleaded the Pope.
He then added: “Do not leave us indifferent to the plight of migrants, refugees and displaced persons. Their eyes ask us not to turn our backs, not to deny our humanity, to make their stories our own and not to forget about their tragedies.
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Speaking about the importance of dialogue, Pope Francis said that in these times of crisis there is a risk that “shortcuts” will be chosen instead.
– On this feast day let us beg Jesus to awaken in the hearts of all the longing for reconciliation and brotherhood – he encouraged the faithful.
The Pope prayed for the nations plunged in conflicts and crises in Burma, Ethiopia and all of North Africa, Sudan and South Sudan.
He also added: “Son of God, comfort the victims of the violence against women which is rampant during this period of the pandemic. Give hope to children and young people who become victims of bullying and exploitation. Comfort and cordiality to the elderly, especially those who are the most lonely. ”
He reminded that the natural environment suffers from the carelessness with which it is treated. “Encourage the political authorities to find effective agreements so that future generations can live in an environment that respects life,” he said.
According to Francis, today there are many difficulties, but the hope is stronger. “O Christ, you were born for us, teach us to follow the paths of peace with You,” he pleaded.
After delivering the message, the Pope blessed Urbi et Orbi, that is, the city and the world.
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