2014-05-05 16:38:12

Pope urges prayers for Ukraine and Afghanistan

May 05, 2014 - Pope Francis on Sunday recalled the violence that continues in Ukraine and the victims of a devastating landslide in Afghanistan last week and urged for prayers. “I wish to invite you to entrust to the Madonna the situation in Ukraine, where there is no end to tensions,” the Pope said reciting the weekly midday ‘Regina Coeli’ prayer with an estimated 70 thousand pilgrims and visitors in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. “Together with you, I too pray for the victims these days, imploring that the Lord instill sentiments of peace and brotherhood in the hearts of all.” Recalling Friday’s landslide caused by heavy rain in a remote mountain village in northeast Afghanistan, in which more than 2,100 are confirmed to have been killed, the Pope invited prayers for the victims. “May the Almighty, who knows the names of each one of them, welcome all in his peace and give the survivors the strength to go ahead with the support of those who seek to ‎alleviate their suffering.”
Before the ‘Regina Coeli’ prayer, the Pope reflected on Sunday’s Gospel reading about the risen Lord appearing to two of His disciples on their way to Emmaus. "The Road to Emmaus becomes a symbol of our journey of faith,” the Pope said, adding “Scripture and the Eucharist are the essential elements for our encounter with the Lord.” Troubled by our concerns, difficulties and disappointments, we too often go to the Emmaus of Sunday Mass, turning our back on God's plan. But Jesus explains the Scriptures and rekindles in our hearts the heat of faith and hope. Then, in the Eucharist, Jesus gives us Himself, the Bread of eternal life. The Word and the Eucharist enlightens us and propels us toward Jerusalem where we can experience sharing and mission with the community of our brothers and the human community. "Remember well, when you're sad, pick up the Word of God and go to church to have the Eucharist," the Pope concluded.

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