Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Papal prayers offered at today's General Audience


Pope Francis at the first General Audience of 2024Pope Francis at the first General Audience of 2024  (Vatican Media)

Pope remembers victims of conflicts, saying war is madness

Pope Francis prays for the victims of armed conflicts in Palestine, Israel, Ukraine, and the persecuted Rohingya, and reiterates his solidarity with victims of an earthquake and aircraft collision in Japan.

By Thaddeus Jones

Pope Francis has prayed for peace in our world and relief for the victims of war, recalling that "war is madness" and always "a defeat" for humanity. 

Prayers for victims of war

Addressing pilgrims at the conclusion of his catechesis of his first General Audience of this year, Pope Francis asked for prayers for the tragedy taking place in Palestine and Israel, and the war in Ukraine, now almost in its third year. At the same time, he said we must remember victims of war in so many other parts of the world, asking in particular that we not forgot our Rohingya brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution.

Opening our hearts

When addressing pilgrims from Poland, the Pope invited the faithful to remember people on the move due to war and poverty, and prayed that God "may grant us a heart sensitive to the needs of the poor, refugees and victims of war.

"Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God," he added, "I ask the Lord for the gift of peace, and I bless you from my heart! 

Help for Japan earthquake victims

After his catechesis in English, the Pope offered prayers for the victims and rescuers of those affected by the earthquake in Japan, also remembering rescue crew workers killed in an airplane collision in Tokyo. 

The death toll in the New Year's earthquake has risen to 64, but the situation is very unstable. Japan's meteorological agency has warned of possible dangerous aftershocks. The quake reached an estimated magnitude of 7.6 striking the Noto peninsula on New Year's Day, causing significant destruction.

On Tuesday, a Japan Airlines Airbus collided with a Coast Guard aircraft loaded with emergency goods for earthquake-hit areas, killing four of five of the Coast Guard crew onboard. All 379 Japan Airlines passengers and crew survived, quickly escaping the firey crash in time via evacuation slides.

Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo has assured local Church support for those affected by the earthquake. The Church has activated its emergency response support team that works together with Caritas Japan.


No comments:

Post a Comment