Pope seeks prayers for war victims
By Christian George
The Head of the Vatican, Pope Francis III has appealed for prayers for victims of war.
According to Vatican News, the Pope made this appeal while celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
The day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2013 to celebrate the contribution of sports and physical activity to education, human development, healthy lifestyles and a peaceful world.
The theme, “Scoring for People and the Planet”, highlights the positive impact and influence of sport on sustainable development and peace.
Pope Francis, in his greetings to the Italian pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, expressed hope that the theme may help deepen the commitment to solidarity and to fostering “attitudes of friendship and fraternal sharing” in the world.
He emphasized prayers for victims of war as the church celebrates the holy week including who he referred to as “martyred Ukraine.”
He remembered the victims of war crimes and urged the faithful to pray for them and to “raise a plea to God so that the hearts of all may be converted”.
He also invited them to pray for the mothers of the Ukrainian and Russian soldiers killed in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
He said, “And looking at Mary, Our Lady, in front of the Cross, my thoughts go to the mothers: to the mothers of the Ukrainian and Russian soldiers who died in the war. They are mothers of dead children. Let us pray for these mothers.
“As Easter approaches let to keep in our minds and hearts the sufferings of the sick, of the poor of the marginalized, also remembering the innocent victims of wars so that Christ with His Resurrection may grant everyone peace, consolation and blessings, may the Lord bless them all and protect them from all harm.”