Wednesday, December 21, 2022

At General Audience the Pope remembers the children of Ukraine this Christmas


Pope Francis met several Ukrainian refugee children on SundayPope Francis met several Ukrainian refugee children on Sunday  (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

Pope: 'Ukrainian children bear the weight of the tragedy of war'

Pope Francis once again recalls the suffering of children in Ukraine due to Russia's ongoing invasion, saying he has noticed that many of them find it difficult even to smile.

By Edoardo Giribaldi

“When a child loses the ability to smile, it is serious.” With these words, speaking at the end of the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis expressed his concern for the children of Ukraine “who are suffering, suffering so much, from this war.”

Tragedy of the war

“In the feast of God becoming a child, let us think about the Ukrainian children,” urged the Pope, underlining the burden that they are forced to carry in the tragedy “of that war, that is so inhuman, so harsh.”

He encouraged everyone to offer their prayers for the children of Ukraine, who are enduring the bitter cold and lack of basic necessities.

“Let us think about the Ukrainian people this Christmas. They are without heating, without the main things to survive. Let us pray that the Lord may bring them peace as soon as possible.”

Solidarity of Poland

Greeting the faithful people of Poland, the Pope recalled a national tradition according to which, on Christmas eve, families “leave an empty place at the table for an unexpected guest.”

“This year,” Pope Francis said, “that place will be occupied by the multitude of refugees from Ukraine to whom you have opened the doors of your homes with great generosity."

“May the child of God born in Bethlehem fill each of you, your families and those you help with love.”

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