Pope renews his call to lay down arms and his closeness to the Ukrainian people

The Holy Father’s words after the Marian Prayer

© Vatican Media

After the Regina Coeli prayer on Ascension Sunday, Pope Francis’ thoughts turned to the grave situation in Sudan, renewing his call to lay down arms. And he again expressed his closeness to the martyred Ukrainian people.

These were the Pope’s words after the Marian prayer, provided by the Holy See Press Office:

The Pope’s words After the Regina Coeli

Dear brothers and sisters,

It is sad, but, a month after the outbreak of violence in Sudan, the situation continues to be serious. While encouraging the partial agreements reached so far, I renew my heartfelt appeal for the laying down of weapons, and I ask the international community to spare no effort to make dialogue prevail and to alleviate the suffering of the people. And let us continue to be near the beleaguered Ukrainian people.

Today, World Communications Day is celebrated with the theme Speaking with the heart. It is the heart that moves us toward open and receptive communication. I greet the journalists, communication professionals, thanking them for their work. And I hope that they might always work at the service of the truth and for the common good. A round of applause for all the journalists!

Today, Laudato si’ Week begins. I thank the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the many participating organizations. And I invite everything to collaborate in the care of our common home. There is such a need to put our capabilities and creativity together! Recent disasters remind us of this, such as the flooding that has hit the people of Emiglia Romagna in these days, to whom, with all my heart, I renew my nearness. Today, booklets on Laudato si’, which the Dicastery has prepared in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute, will be distributed in the Square.

I greet all of you, people from Rome and pilgrims from Italy and from many countries – I see many flags there, welcome! I especially greet the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Elizabeth from Indonesia – from far away; the faithful from Malta, from Mali, from Argentina, from the Caribbean Island Curaçao, and the musical band from Puerto Rico. We would like to hear you play after!

In addition, I greet the diocesan pilgrimage from Alessandria; the Confirmation candidates from the diocese of Genoa whom I met with yesterday. Yesterday, I met with them, with the red hats over there, in Santa Marta – they’re wonderful!; the parish groups from Molise, Scandicci, Grotte and Grumo Nevano; the associations committed to protect human life; the “Emil Komel” young people’s Choir from Gorizia; “Catherine of Saint Rose” and “Saint Ursula” schools from Rome; and the people with the Immacolata.

I wish all of you a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Please do not forget. Enjoy your lunch and arrivederci!