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Saint Peter's Square
Divine Mercy Sunday, 8 April 2018



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Before the final blessing, we will turn in prayer to our heavenly Mother. But first I would like to thank all of you who have participated in this celebration, in particular the Missionaries of Mercy who have gathered for their meeting. Thank you for your service!

To our brothers and sisters of the Eastern Churches who today are celebrating the Solemnity of Easter, I offer my most cordial good wishes. May the Risen Lord fill them with light and peace, and comfort their communities that live in particularly difficult situations.

I offer a special greeting to the Rom and the Sinti present here, on the occasion of their International Day, “Romano Dives”. I wish peace and brotherhood to the members of these ancient peoples, and I hope that this Day’s celebration may favour the culture of encounter, with mutual good will to meet and respect each other. This is the path that leads to true integration. Dear Rom and Sinti, pray for me and let us pray together for your Syrian refugee brothers and sisters.

I greet all the other pilgrims present here, the parish groups, families, associations; and together let us place ourselves under the mantle of Mary, Mother of Mercy.

After praying the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis made an appeal on behalf of the people of Syria.

Terrible news of bombings has arrived from Syria, with dozens of victims, many of whom were women and children; news of many people stricken by the effects of chemical substances contained in the bombs. Let us pray for all the deceased, for the wounded, for the families who are suffering. There are no good wars and bad wars, and nothing, nothing can justify the use of such weapons of extermination against defenseless people and populations. Let us pray that the responsible politicians and military may choose the other path, that of negotiation, the only path that can lead to a peace which is not the path of death and destruction.

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