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Freedom for people seized
in war zones

· Pope Francis’ appeal at the Regina Caeli ·

An appeal “for the liberation of all people who have been seized in areas of armed conflict” was launched by Pope Francis at the Regina Caeli on Sunday, 10 April. In particular the Pontiff reminded the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square of the Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil, who was take on 4 March during the vicious attack on a centre for the elderly and disabled near the city of Aden, Yemen. Four nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and twelve other people were killed in the attack.

Before reciting the Marian prayer, referring to the Gospel episode of the miraculous catch of fish, the Pope pointed out the attitude taken by Peter, who threw himself into the water and swam toward Jesus, with “all the enthusiasm of the Paschal faith, full of joy and wonder, which sharply contrasts with the disappearance, the dejection, the sense of powerlessness that had accumulated in the disciples’ heart”.

Indeed, Francis observed, “the presence of the Risen Jesus transforms everything: darkness has become light, futile work has again become fruitful and promising, the sense of weariness and abandonment give way to a new impetus and to the certainty that He is with us”.

The Pontiff emphasized that “all of us are the community of the Risen One”, and noted that “the great message of the Resurrection instils in the hearts of believers heartfelt joy and invincible hope”. He reminded the faithful that “we Christians are all called to communicate this message of resurrection to those we meet, especially to those who suffer, to those who are alone, to those who find themselves in precarious conditions, to the sick, to refugees, to the marginalized”, so that a sign of the powerful mercy of the Risen Christ may reach everyone.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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