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The Pope's Easter Message

April 2, 2024

From the Office for Social Ministry

“Today we want, first and foremost, to turn our eyes to the holy city of Jerusalem, that witnessed the mystery of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and to all the Christian communities of the Holy Land. My thoughts go especially to the victims of the many conflicts worldwide, beginning with those in Israel and Palestine, and in Ukraine. May the risen Christ open a path of peace for the war-torn peoples of those regions”. Pope Francis Easter Message to the World Ubi et Orbi – A Prayerful Appeal for Peace

As we begin our prayerful journey of joy in the Easter Season, let us keep in mind and heart the words of Pope Francis Easter Message appealing for peace in the world.

In particular our Holy Father asked us to pray for specific actions for peace and reconciliation in the Russia and Ukraine, and Israel and Palestine: “In calling for respect for the principles of international law, I express my hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: all for the sake of all! I appeal once again that access to humanitarian aid be ensured to Gaza, and call once more for the prompt release of the hostages seized on 7 October last and for an immediate cease-fire in the Strip.”

The pope asked all to keep their focus of prayer on the children and families impacted by the war and the deadly destruction of weapons.

Let us not allow the current hostilities to continue to have grave repercussions on the civil population, by now at the limit of its endurance, and above all on the children. How much suffering we see in the eyes of the children: The children in those lands at war have forgotten how to smile! With those eyes, they ask us: Why? Why all this death? Why all this destruction? War is always an absurdity, war is always a defeat! Let us not allow the strengthening winds of war to blow on Europe and the Mediterranean. Let us not yield to the logic of weapons and rearming. Peace is never made with arms, but with outstretched hands and open hearts.

Pope Francis went on to pray for the dire need for peace in many parts of the world including Syria, Lebanon, Armenia Azerbaijan, Haiti, Rohingya, Sudan and the entire region of the Sahel, in the Horn of Africa, in the region of Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the province of Capo Delgado in Mozambique.  He asked all to pray for the victims of prolonged situation of drought, which affects vast areas and provokes famine and hunger. He appealed for prayers for the millions of people forcibly on the move throughout the world

May the Risen One make the light of his face shine upon migrants and on all those who are passing through a period of economic difficulty and offer them consolation and hope in their moment of need. May Christ guide all persons of goodwill to unite themselves in solidarity, in order to address together the many challenges that loom over the poorest families in their search for a better life and happiness.May the Lord comfort their families, above all those who anxiously await news of their loved ones and ensure them comfort and hope.’

The Pope ended his Easter appeal with these loving words of hope in the light of the Resurrection:

On this day when we celebrate the life given us in the resurrection of the Son, let us remember the infinite love of God for each of us: a love that overcomes every limit and every weaknessMay the light of the Resurrection illuminate our minds and convert our hearts and make us aware of the value of every human life, which must be welcomed, protected, and loved.  A happy Easter to all!