News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Capture Pope snipbanner.PNG
Capture Pope snip.PNG
World News

Pope leads global prayer for peace in Ukraine

by Reuters Journalist

Pope Francis led the world's Catholic bishops on Friday (March 25) in praying for peace between Russia and Ukraine, saying the world had forgotten the tragedies of the 20th century and was still menaced by nuclear war.

Francis presided at a service in St. Peter's Basilica in which he entrusted the protection of all humanity, "especially Russia and Ukraine," to Mary, who Christians believe is the Mother of God and who can intercede with him in heaven.

At about the same time, thousands of bishops in cathedrals and chapels around the world were reading the same prayer in local languages, resulting in one of the most precisely coordinated global Church event in living memory.

In a separate homily before reciting the prayer, Francis spoke of "scenes of death" in which "bombs are destroying the homes of many of our defenceless Ukrainian brothers and sisters" and of "a cruel and senseless war that threatens our world".

Both the Ukrainian and Russian ambassadors to the Vatican attended, sitting on separate sides of the aisle.

Since Russia invaded its neighbour on February 24 in what it calls a "special military operation", the pope has implicitly criticised Moscow, strongly condemning what he has called an "unjustified aggression" and denouncing "atrocities," but he had not mentioned Russia by name.

He used the words Russia and Russians on Friday, albeit as part of a prayer and a homily.

"We have forgotten the lesson learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two world wars ... we have closed ourselves in nationalist interests," the pope said in the prayer, whose formal title was "An Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary".

The act denounced the stockpiling of weapons, the destruction of the environment, greed and the spread of abortion. It asked Mary to "eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness, free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons".

Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, the Vatican ambassador who has remained in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion last month, said before Friday's event he would read the prayer from a makeshift altar in a kitchen in a safe room in the embassy in Kyiv.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email