May 2023: Pope Francis holds important meeting with Ukrainian President

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At the Vatican, the month of May began with 23 new Swiss Guard recruits swearing allegiance to the Pope. This celebration takes place every May 6 to commemorate the sack of Rome, when this military body defended Pope Clement VII from invading troops.

During this month, Pope Francis had three important meetings. The first of these was with Pope Tawadros II. The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church joined Pope Francis at his General Audience to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between their predecessors: Pope St. Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III in 1973.

In memory of this event, His Holiness Tawadros came to see me for the first time on May 10 ten years ago, a few months after both his and my election, and he proposed that every May 10 we celebrate the "Coptic-Catholic Friendship Day," which we have been celebrating every year since then.

The Pope also participated in the 3rd edition of the meeting of the General State of the Birth Rate, where the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, was present. During his speech, Pope Francis once again explained that the absence of children in a society is an expression of fear in the face of an uncertain future.

We cannot accept that our society stops being reproductive and descends into sadness. When there is no reproductivity, there's sadness. It is an ugly, ugly grief.
We must change our mindset—the family is not part of the problem, but part of its solution.

A third important meeting was with Ukrainian President Zelenski, who was in the Vatican for a lightning visit, which lasted only 40 minutes. The President gave the Pope an image of Our Lady drawn on a bulletproof plate. As usual in all his meetings, Pope Francis asked Zelenski to pray for him.

God bless you.
Thank you so much.
And pray for me, don't forget.

At the end of May, an incident occurred at the Vatican, where a car entered St. Peter's Square at full speed, heading for St. Anne's Gate. Unable to stop it, one of the guards fired a warning shot at one of the car's front wheels. The driver was a 40-year-old man, who was later questioned. A judge decided to admit him to the psychiatric ward of the Santo Spirito hospital.


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