There is a great need for “prayer and penance” to plead for the end of the many wars spreading all over the world and the many “absurd conflicts” that “disfigure the face of humanity”, Pope Francis has said.
Referring to the canonisation of Ss Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto in Fatima, he said that the two shepherd children offered penance and sacrifices for the end of war and for souls in need of divine mercy.
“Today, too, there is a great need of prayer and penance to plead for the grace of conversion, to plead for the end of so many wars that are all over the world and that are increasingly spreading, as well as the end of absurd conflicts - big and small, that disfigure the face of humanity,” he said.
After reciting the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday with an estimated 25,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis entrusted “to Mary, the Queen of Peace, the destiny of the peoples afflicted by wars and conflicts, particularly in the Middle East”.
“Many innocent people are sorely tested, be they Christians, Muslims or minorities like the Yazidi, who are facing tragic violence and discrimination,” the Pontiff said.
The Holy Father assured them of his solidarity and prayer, and at the same time thanked all those committed to assisting them in their need.
Pope Francis encouraged all the different communities to continue along the “path of dialogue and reconciliation in order to build a future of respect, security and peace, far from any kind of war”.