'...I also see many Ukrainian flags. Praised be Jesus Christ!'
The Pope greeted in Ukrainian the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Angelus. It was a liturgical greeting, but of enormous symbolism at this moment.
In his first speech after the invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis avoided explicitly mentioning Russia, but he clearly condemned the war.
I repeat: Put down your weapons! God is with the peacemakers, not with those who use violence.
The Pope said that war means putting aside the interests of ordinary people in favor of partisan interests and lust for power.
(Ordinary civilians) are the real victims, who pay for the follies of war with their own skin. I think of the elderly, of those who at this moment are seeking refuge, of the mothers who are fleeing with their children... They are our brothers and sisters, for whom it is urgent to open humanitarian corridors, and who must be welcomed.
Pope Francis renewed his invitation to a day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, March 2, so people feel that 'we are all brothers and sisters, and to implore God for an end to the war.'
The Pope also asked not to forget the other great wars of today. He was referring to conflicts such as those in Yemen, Syria and Ethiopia.
During the Angelus, the Pope had to lean against the window, as he is suffering from acute inflammation in his knee, which has forced him to cancel several meetings on his agenda.