Pope leads international prayer service for peace in Ukraine, elsewhere

Maria J. Smith

ROME, May well 31 (Reuters) – Pope Francis led an global prayer provider for peace in Ukraine and other spots stricken by war on Tuesday, sitting down in his wheelchair in advance of a statue that Romans usually associate with peace.

The 85-calendar year-aged pope frequented the Rome basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and prayed right before the statue of Mary Queen of Peace. Pope Benedict XV commissioned the perform in 1918 to check with God to end World War A single.

Worshippers in shrines in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and other nations around the world were being linked by movie and Catholics around the earth were being requested to pray at the exact same time.

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About 1,000 attended the service in Rome, such as the Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican and a range of folks carrying the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Just before praying the rosary, Francis requested Mary, who in Christianity is revered as the Mother of God, to “reconcile hearts that are whole of violence and vendetta”.

Francis, who has designed a lot of appeals for peace in Ukraine given that Russia invaded its neighbour in February, is struggling from knee suffering and has been applying a wheelchair for the previous number of months.

As he was leaving the church, he stopped to greet other individuals in wheelchairs, which includes a boy putting on a Ukrainian flag all-around his neck.

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Reporting by Philip Pullella, Modifying by Rosalba O’Brien

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