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Pope prays for peace in Ukraine

May 19, 2023

At the conclusion of his May 17 general audience, Pope Francis prayed for peace in Ukraine.

“And we all pray to the Lord for beloved Ukraine: they suffer so much there, they suffer so much,” the Pope said, in words not included in the Vatican’s official English translation. “We pray for the wounded, for the children, for those who have died, for peace to return.”

In other remarks omitted from the Vatican’s English translation, Pope Francis spoke about the Solemnity of the Ascension, which he noted was celebrated the following day.

In remarks to Hungarian-speaking pilgrims, the Pope paid tribute to Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann (1870-1931), a Hungarian physician, on the twentieth anniversary of his beatification. Relatives of the physician, including his great-grandson, took part in the pilgrimage.

The practice of greeting and addressing Hungarian-speaking pilgrims, more common at the Wednesday general audiences late in St. John Paul’s pontificate and for most of Pope Benedict’s pontificate, fell into disuse after 2012.

The Pope also spoke about prayer and peace. To Arabic-speaking pilgrims, he said:

In the month of May, the month dedicated to the Madonna, the Holy Rosary is recited, a compendium of the whole history of our salvation. The Holy Rosary is a powerful weapon against evil, and an effective means of obtaining true peace in our hearts.

To Polish-speaking pilgrims, he added:

Yesterday the Church in Poland celebrated the liturgical memorial of St. Andrew Bobola, Jesuit, priest and martyr. We entrust to him all the difficult questions of your homeland and those of other countries, especially the question of peace in Ukraine.


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