Pope Francis addressed the faithful in St. Peter’s Square with a message and blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and the World”). He also remembered the people of Ukraine and called for an end to the war.
On Sunday, April 9, after the Easter mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, the head of the Roman Catholic Church addressed the faithful with the traditional Easter message and blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and the World”). According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, about 45,000 believers attended the mass.
It was also attended by 32 cardinals, 15 bishops and 300 priests, writes the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera. The square itself was decorated with flowers, including 720 roses provided by the Netherlands.
The Pope called for peace in Ukraine
Francis, in particular, called for active efforts by the international community to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine. “Help any Ukrainian people on the road to peace and pour Easter light on the Russian people. Comfort the wounded and those who lost their loved ones because of the war, and make sure that the captives can return safe and sound to their families,” the pontiff’s prayer was quoted by “Vatican Radio”.
He also called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria, the restoration of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, the establishment of stability in Lebanon, and support for earthquake victims in Turkey. He also mentioned other countries in Africa, Asia and South America.
Francis limited participation in Easter events
As reported, for the first time since his election, Pope Francis did not take part in the traditional Way of the Cross (Via Crucis) near the Colosseum, which took place on April 7. The pontiff, who was discharged from the hospital a few days earlier with bronchitis, had to miss the event due to the cold weather.
Not only did he have to miss the Stations of the Cross ceremony, but he also had to forgo a number of traditional rituals during the Friday service at St. Peter’s Basilica. The head of the Roman Catholic Church was present at the event, but the sermon was read by Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa instead.