On 6 and 9 August 1945, 75 years ago, the tragic atomic bombardments of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place. While I recall the visit I made to those places last year with deep emotion and gratitude, I renew the invitation to pray and the commitment to a world completely free of nuclear weapons.
Let us again pray for Lebanon: after the catastrophe, for its particular identity, fruit of the encounter of different cultures, that with God’s help and everyone’s genuine participation, it may be reborn free and strong.
Let us pray for the victims of the explosions in Beirut and for their families; and let us pray for Lebanon so that, through the dedication of all its social, political and religious elements, it might face this extremely tragic and painful moment.
Let us pray for this. It is and will be a problem in the aftermath of the pandemic: poverty and lack of work. A lot of solidarity and creativity will be needed to resolve this problem.
I pray that what has been agreed will finally be put into practice, also through effective disarmament and mine clearance. This is the only way to rebuild confidence and lay the foundations for the reconciliation that is so necessary and so much awaited by the people.
While I assure my prayers to the families of those who have lost their lives during the clashes, I hope that, with the dedication of the international community, and through dialogue and goodwill, there may be a lasting peaceful solution for the good of those beloved peoples.
On the anniversary of my visit to Lampedusa, let us pray that we might discover the face of Jesus in all people forced to flee their homeland because of the many injustices that continue to afflict our world.
Let us pray for the Conference of the European Union and the United Nations, so that it may improve the dramatic situation of the Syrian people and neighbouring peoples, particularly Lebanon, in the context of serious socio-political and economic crises that have been made even more difficult by the pandemic.
I invite everyone to pray for the people of Yemen, especially children, who are suffering as a result of the very serious humanitarian crisis, and for those affected by the severe floods in Western Ukraine.
I invite you to join me in praying for a renewed and effective commitment, on the part of us all, to the effective protection of every human being, especially those who have been forced to flee as a result of situations of grave danger to them or their families.