After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:
Dear brothers and sisters,
Every day I carry in my heart the dear and tormented Ukraine, which continues to be scourged by barbaric attacks, like the one that struck the Kremenchuk shopping centre. I pray that this insane war may soon see an end, and I renew the invitation to persevere, without tiring, in prayer for peace: may the Lord open those paths of dialogue that men are unwilling or unable to find! And let us not neglect to come to the aid of the Ukrainian people, who are suffering so much.
In recent days, several fires have broken out in Rome, fanned by the very high temperatures, while in many places drought is now a serious problem that is causing serious damage to agricultural activities and to the environment. I hope that the necessary measures will be put in place to deal with these emergencies and to prevent future emergencies. All this should cause us to reflect on the protection of creation, which is our responsibility, the responsibility of each one of us. It is not a fad, it is a responsibility: the future of the earth is in our hands and with our decisions!
Today the first issue of ‘L’Osservatore di strada’, the new monthly magazine of ‘L’Osservatore Romano’, is being distributed here in the square. In this newspaper those who are least become protagonists: in fact, poor and marginalised people participate in the editorial work, writing, allowing themselves be interviewed, brightening the pages of this monthly magazine, which is offered free of charge. If anyone wants to give something they can give it voluntarily, but take it freely because it is a beautiful work that comes from the grassroots, from the poor, as an expression of those who are marginalised.
On this feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the principle Patrons of Rome, I extend my best wishes to the people of Rome and to all who stay in this city, hoping that all may find in it a fitting welcome worthy of its beauty. Rome is beautiful!
I renew my gratitude to the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent by His Holiness Bartholomew, my dear brother, and I send him cordial and fraternal greetings.
I greet with affection the pilgrims who have come to celebrate the Metropolitan Archbishops, for whom I blessed the Pallia this morning.
I greet all of you, dear pilgrims, especially those from the United States of America and the Czech Republic, from Berlin and London. I greet the young Confirmandi from Barbara, near Ancona; and those from Grest in Zagarolo; as well as the participants in the pilgrimage that came in Aquileia and was promoted by the Associazione Europea Romea Strata; and I greet the young people of the Immacolata.
I wish everyone a happy feast day! Please do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch, and see you soon!