The media shows us what war causes. We saw Syria, we see Gaza, we think about tortured Ukraine, said Pope Francis on the second day of Christmas during a meeting with the faithful for the Angelus prayer in the Vatican. He emphasized that “nations want peace.” – Let’s pray for peace, let’s fight for peace – he appealed. On Tuesday, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Stephen, the first martyr.
Addressing the thousands of faithful who came to St. Peter’s Square for the midday Angelus prayer, the Pope repeated his wishes for peace and goodness that “awaken the Lord’s birth.”
He then thanked everyone who sent him Christmas wishes from Rome and around the world. – Thank you first of all for your prayers. Keep praying for the Pope, it is needed, he added.
“Nations want peace”
Francis referred to the feast of Saint Stephen celebrated on Boxing Day. – I am close to Christian communities that suffer from discrimination and I call on them to persevere in love for all, fighting peacefully for justice and religious freedom, he said.
– I also entrust to the intercession of the first martyr the cry for peace of nations tormented by war. The media shows us what war causes. We saw Syriawe see Gaza, we think about the martyred one Ukraine. Desert of death. Is this what you want? – asked the Pope.
He emphasized that “nations want peace.” – Let’s pray for peace, let’s fight for peace – he appealed.
“Then there are those who suffer and die for spreading the testimony of Jesus”
In his reflections before the Angelus prayer, Francis recalled that even today, after two thousand years, the persecution of Christians continues. – Then there are those who suffer and die for spreading the testimony of Jesus, as well as those who are punished in various ways for behaving in accordance with the Gospel. And there are also those who, in the midst of difficulties, remain faithful to their good duties without publicity, while the world laughs at it and says otherwise, he declared.
– These brothers and sisters may also seem like losers, but today we see that this is not the case – said the pope, emphasizing that the “seed of their sacrifice” blossoms and bears fruit.
He encouraged believers to reflect. – Do I care and pray for those who, in various parts of the world, are now suffering and dying for their faith, for so many people killed for their faith? – said the pope. He also asked the faithful to ask themselves: – Do I try to preach the Gospel with consistency, gentleness and trust? Do I believe that the seed of goodness will bear fruit, even if I don’t see immediate results?
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/CLAUDIO PERI