Saint Peter's Square
Second Sunday of Easter (or Divine Mercy Sunday), 3 April 2016
On this day, which is like the heart of the Holy Year of Mercy, my thought goes to all the populations who thirst for reconciliation and peace. I think in particular, here in Europe, of the tragedy of those who are suffering the consequences of violence in Ukraine: of those who remain in lands shocked by the hostilities which have already caused thousands of deaths, and of those — over a million — forced to flee from the grave situation which is ongoing. It involves above all elderly people and children. Besides accompanying them with my constant thoughts and with my prayers, I have decided to promote humanitarian support in their favour. For this purpose, a special collection will be taken up in all Catholic Churches in Europe on Sunday, 24 April. I invite the faithful to join in this initiative with a generous contribution. This act of charity, in addition to alleviating material suffering, seeks to express my personal closeness and solidarity and that of the entire Church. I sincerely hope that it may help to promote, without further delay, peace and respect for law in that land so afflicted.
As we pray for peace, let us remember that tomorrow is the International Day of Mine Awareness. Too many people continue to be killed or maimed by these terrible weapons, and brave men and women risk their lives clearing minefields. Let us please renew the commitment for a world without mines!
Lastly, I greet all of you who have taken part in this celebration, in particular the groups who cultivate the spirituality of Divine Mercy.
Let all of us together turn to Our Mother in prayer.