Pope Francis prays for Ukraine: "Forgive us the war, Lord"
Pope Francis today delivered a prayer for peace in Ukraine after the Russian invasion of the country
March 16, 2022 1:55pm
Updated: March 16, 2022 2:22pm
At the end of the general audience, Pope Francis delivered on Wednesday a prayer for peace in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, which began: "Forgive us the war, Lord".
The Pontiff recited the prayer written by the Archbishop of Naples, Mimmo Battaglia, before the thousands of faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall.
"Lord Jesus, born under the bombs of Kyiv, have mercy on us. Lord Jesus, who died in his mother's arms in a bunker in Kharkiv, have mercy on us. Lord Jesus, sent at twenty to the front, have mercy on us. Lord Jesus, who still sees armed hands in the shadow of your cross, have mercy on us," began the prayer delivered by the Pope before the silence of the audience.
"Forgive us, Lord, if we are not satisfied with the nails with which we pierce your hand. We continue to drink the blood of the dead torn by weapons. Forgive us, if these hands you created to protect have become instruments of death," the prayer continued.
"Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother; if we continue like Cain to remove the stones from our field to kill Abel. Forgive us, if we continue to justify cruelty with our weariness; if with our pain we legitimize the brutality of our actions," the Pope said.
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, we beseech Thee, stay the hand of Cain!" he concluded.
The Pope mentioned before the general audience that there are already thousands of children fleeing bombs in Ukraine today who "are suffering" because they are "victims of the arrogance of adults."
"And now I ask you to think, to reflect: let us think of so many children, boys, girls, who are at war, who are suffering today in Ukraine. They are like you, like you, six, seven, ten, fourteen years old,” he said in his greeting in St. Peter's Basilica to the students of the "La Zolla" School in Milan.
"You have a future ahead of you, a security of growing up in a society of peace, while these little boys and girls have to flee from the bombs, they are suffering... in the cold," he added.