· Vatican City ·

At the General Audience the Pope prays for war victims as Ukraine conflict marks six months

The innocent pay the price of the madness of war

A children walks in front of a damaged school in the city of Zhytomyr, northern Ukraine, on March ...
26 August 2022

After the General Audience on the day marking six months since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the Pope renewed his call for prayers for the Ukrainian people “suffering the horror of war”. He prayed especially for refugees, prisoners and children, and for all innocent people who “pay [the price of] war”.

I renew my invitation to implore peace from the Lord for the beloved Ukrainian people who for six months today have been suffering the horror of war. I hope that concrete steps will be taken to put an end to the war and to avert the risk of a nuclear disaster in Zaporizhzhia.

I carry the prisoners in my heart, especially those in fragile conditions, and I ask the competent authorities to work for their release. I think of the children, so many dead… then so many refugees — here in Italy there are many — so many wounded, so many Ukrainian children and Russian children who have become orphans. And orphanhood has no nationality. They have lost their father or their mother, whether they are Russian or Ukrainian.

I think of so much cruelty, of so many innocents who are paying [the price of] madness, the madness of all sides, because war is madness and no one at war can say: ‘No, I am not mad.’ The madness of war.

I think of that poor girl blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow.

The innocent pay [the price of] war, the innocent! Let us think about this reality and say to each other: war is madness.

And those who profit from war and the arms trade are criminals who kill humanity.

And let us think of other countries that have been at war for a long time: more than 10 years in Syria; let us think of the war in Yemen, where so many children suffer from hunger; let us think of the Rohingya who travel the world because of the injustice of being driven from their land.

But today in a special way, six months after the beginning of the war, let us  think of Ukraine and Russia. I consecrated both countries to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May she, as Mother, turn her gaze on these two beloved countries: may she look upon Ukraine, look upon Russia, and bring us peace! We need peace!