Pope shows rosary and bible of a Ukrainian soldier killed at age 23

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At the end of the General Audience, Pope Francis spoke of his deep sorrow for the seven volunteers who were killed in an Israeli air strike after unloading 100 tons of food in Gaza. They belonged to the non-profit organization World Central Kitchen.

POPE FRANCIS
I express my deepest sympathy for the volunteers killed while carrying out humanitarian aid work in Gaza. I pray for them and their families. I renew my call for the exhausted and suffering civilian population to be allowed access to humanitarian aid and for the immediate release of the hostages.

The Pope also prayed again for peace in Ukraine. Before a square full of pilgrims, the Pope showed a rosary and a bible that belonged to a young Ukrainian who died on the front lines.

POPE FRANCIS
I have in my hands a rosary and a book of the New Testament left by a soldier who died in the war. This boy's name was Oleksandr: Alexander. He was 23 years old. Alexander was reading the new testament and the psalms and had underlined Psalm 129: “From the depths to you I cry, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice.”

Before imparting his final blessing, Pope Francis asked for a moment of silence to pray for the deceased Ukrainian and all those who die because of war.

CA
TR: AT

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