War in Ukraine: Pope Francis in tears in front of the audience as he evokes the supplication of the children, the elderly, the fathers and mothers, the young people of this martyred land that suffers so much
Eva Deschamps / December 8, 2022
Pope Francis could not suppress tears as he spoke of the war in "martyred" Ukraine during a public ceremony Thursday afternoon in central Rome.
On the occasion of the traditional ceremony of homage to the Virgin Mary during the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a public holiday in Italy, the Pope went in the middle of the afternoon near the Spanish square in front of the statue of the Virgin installed on top of a column.
"O Immaculate Virgin, I would have liked to bring you today the thanks of the Ukrainian people...", he declared, reading his speech standing up, before interrupting himself, broken by emotion.
The body shaking with jolts, the pope in tears then remained silent for long seconds, then the crowd present warmly applauded him.
He then resumed his speech, leaning on the arm of his chair but remaining standing: "... of the Ukrainian people for the peace that we have been asking the Lord for some time".
"On the other hand, I must present to you again", he continued, his voice still altered by emotion, "the supplication of the children, the elderly, the fathers and mothers, the young people of this martyred land that suffers so much".
Already in his public Angelus prayer at midday in St. Peter's Square, the Pope had evoked "the universal desire for peace, especially for the martyred Ukraine, which is suffering so much.
The Pope has been tirelessly advocating for peace since the Russian invasion began in February, a subject he regularly raises in his speeches.
In an interview published at the end of November by the American Jesuit magazine America, the Pope denounced the "cruelty" that Ukraine is facing as a result of the Russian offensive.