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Saint Peter's Square
Palm Sunday, 24 March 2024



Dear brothers and sisters,

I express my closeness to the San José de Apartado Community in Colombia, where a young woman and a boy were murdered a few days ago. This Community was awarded in 2018 as an example of commitment to economic solidarity, peace and human rights.

And I assure my prayer for the victims of the cowardly terrorist attack in Moscow the other evening. May the Lord welcome the victims in his peace, and console their families. May he convert the hearts of those who plan, organize and implement these inhuman actions, which offend God, who commanded: “You shall not kill” (Ex  20:13).

I greet you all, faithful of Rome and pilgrims from various countries. In particular, I greet the delegation from the city of Sanremo, which again this year, faithful to a four-centuries-long tradition, has offered the woven palm leaves for this celebration. Thank you, people of Sanremo! May the Lord bless you.

Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus entered Jerusalem as a humble and peaceful king; let us open our hearts to him! Only he can free us from wickedness, hatred and violence, because he is mercy and the forgiveness of sins. Let us pray for all our brothers and sisters who suffer as a result of war; in a special way, I think of tormented Ukraine, where so many people find themselves without electricity because of the intense attacks on infrastructure, which, besides causing death and suffering, bring the risk of an even greater humanitarian catastrophe. Please, let us not forget tormented Ukraine! And let us think of Gaza, which is suffering a great deal, and so many other places of war.

And now, let us turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary: may we learn from her how to stay close to Jesus in the days of Holy Week, so as to arrive at the joy of the Resurrection.

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