war is madness that has orphaned many ukrainian and russian children

New and heartfelt appeal from Francis at the general audience, six months after the start of the conflict. He remembered Darya Dugina, who died in the Moscow attack, and the victims of other wars, such as that of the Rohingya “who wander the world because they have been unjustly expelled from their land.” Concluding the cycle of catechesis on old age, he spoke of gestation towards “our destiny, which is to resurrect.”

Vatican City () – Six months after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began, Pope Francis once again made a new and heartfelt appeal for peace. “I renew the invitation to implore the Lord for peace for the beloved Ukrainian people, who for six months have suffered the horror of war – said the Holy Father at the end of the general audience this morning, in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican – . I hope that concrete steps will be taken to end the war and prevent a nuclear disaster in Zaporizhzhia.” The pontiff then remembered the prisoners, the children, the dead, the refugees, the wounded. “Many Ukrainian and Russian boys and girls have been orphaned: no matter their nationality, they have lost their father or mother, whether they are Russian or Ukrainian,” Francis insisted, repeating again that war is “a madness that affects everyone.” ”.

“In war there is no one who can’t say no, I’m not crazy,” he explained. I think of that poor young woman who was blown up by a bomb that was under the seat of her car in Moscow,” he added, referring to Darya Dugina, who was killed by a bomb that had been placed in the car of her father, Alexander Dugin, an ideologue close to Putin. “The innocent are those who pay the price of war, and those who profit from war, from the arms trade, are criminals who kill humanity,” the pontiff denounced.

Francis also reminded other countries that have been at war for a long time: Syria, Yemen and the Rohingya people, “who wander the world because they have been unjustly expelled from their land”. “Today in a special way we think of the six months that have passed since the war began, we think of Ukraine and Russia,” the Pope reiterated. I have consecrated both countries to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: may she, who is her mother, look at these two countries and bring us peace. We need peace.”

In today’s audience, which took place in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis concluded the long cycle of catechesis on old age focusing on the theme: “The labor pains of creation. The history of the creature as a mystery of gestation “Recently we celebrated the Assumption of the Mother of Jesus into heaven -said the pontiff-. This mystery illuminates the fulfillment of the grace that shaped the destiny of Mary, and also illuminates our own destiny: Heaven”. Western iconography represents the Assumption of the Virgin as lifted up and enveloped by a glorious light, in the East it is represented lying down, sleeping, surrounded by the apostles in prayer Francis reflected on the relationship of this unique “assumption” with death and resurrection of the Son, “which opens the way from generation to life for all of us.” In the divine act of Mary’s reunion with the Risen Christ, in effect, the bodily assumption of God’s life is anticipated. The Holy Father explained that in this way the resurrection destiny that awaits us all is anticipated: Christ has risen first “so that it is also clear what our destiny is, which is to resurrect.”

“Following the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, we could say that it is like a second birth,” the pontiff continued. If the first was a birth on earth, this second is a birth in heaven.” In Rm 8,22 the apostle Paul speaks of the pains of childbirth, which will allow man to be born in the Kingdom of God without ceasing to be the same as he was on this earth. Indeed, when Jesus resurrects he does not lose his humanity, his experience of life, not even his corporeality, “because without it he would no longer be him”, as the disciples of Emmaus attest. “We cannot imagine this transfiguration of our mortal corporeality, but we are sure that it will keep our faces recognizable and allow us to continue being human in God’s heaven,” the pontiff said. He will allow us to participate, with sublime emotion, in the infinite and happy exuberance of the creative act of God”.

Francis exhorted to take seriously the words of the Gospel about the Kingdom, which Jesus describes as a wedding banquet, as a party among friends. In old age, it will be necessary to learn the importance of small gestures and details of daily life, such as a caress, a smile, a sudden happiness. “This wisdom of old age is the place of our gestation, which illuminates the lives of children, young people, adults, the entire community,” the Pope concluded. We old people should be that: light for the world”. The pontiff affirmed that the best of life has yet to come: “We await this fullness of life, when the Lord calls us. Going through that door is a little scary, but the hand of the Lord is always with us. He is waiting for us, it is just one step, and then the party”.

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