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Entrusting Ukraine to Mary, Pope praises youth from Ukraine, Russia who ‘live as brothers’

June 01, 2023

At the conclusion of his May 31 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to Russian and Ukrainian young people who are living together for two years under the auspices of Rondine Cittadella della Pace.

The Italian organization seeks to reduce armed conflict by hosting young people from warring countries to “help them to discover the human being in their enemy, through the difficult and surprising effort that comes from living together daily,” according to its website.

Pope Francis said in Italian:

I warmly welcome the young people of Rondine Cittadella della Pace of Arezzo, accompanied by Bishop Andrea Migliavacca, with a grateful thought for those who, coming from Ukraine and from Russia and from other countries at war, have decided not to be enemies, but to live as brothers. May your example elicit resolutions for peace in all, also in those with political responsibilities. And this must lead us to pray more for tormented Ukraine, and to be close to it.

Pope Francis continued:

Today, the last day of the month of May, the Church celebrates the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, by whom she is proclaimed blessed because she believed in the word of the Lord (cf. Lk. 1:45). Look to her and implore from her the gift of an ever more courageous faith. To her maternal intercession, we entrust all those tried by war, especially dear and tormented Ukraine, which suffers so much.

None of these remarks were included in the Vatican’s English translation of the Pope’s general audience.


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