Pope Francis arrived in a wheelchair and led the opening prayer of a rosary for peace in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.
Before him stood the sculpture of the Virgin Mary, the same one that his predecessor, Pope Benedict XV, prayed in front of for the end of World War I.
Reconcile hearts that are full of violence and vengeance. BROLL May your peace endure over all the earth. Amen.
A Ukrainian family led the first decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary.
Between each mystery, different dramatic moments of the war were remembered as prayer intentions.
We pray for people who have been raped and are missing and for their families and friends so that they do not lose hope.
In addition to the Ukrainian family, representatives from other countries facing crisis situations, like Syria or Venezuela, also joined the Holy Father in praying the rosary.
Other sanctuaries around the world, such as those in Iraq or Ukraine, also joined in praying for peace.
In the Basilica of St. Mary Major, there were mixed feelings—feelings of pain but also of devotion, recollection and a slight breeze of hope in the face of an uncertain future.