In his Easter message to the world on Sunday, Pope Francis condemned terrorism as “a blind and brutal violence,” while proposing that it should be fought with “weapons of love.”
The Pope was delivering his “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and the World) message before some 70,000 pilgrims and tourists who braved tight security to be able to hear the Pope in and around Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
The message has been posted on the Vatican’s website in Arabic, Italian, German, French and Portuguese, but curiously not in English.
Pope Francis prayed that the Lord Jesus might embolden all Christians in this Easter holiday to stand close to the victims of terrorism, “a blind and brutal form of violence that continues to shed innocent blood in different parts of the world, as has happened in recent attacks in Belgium, Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Iraq.”
“With the weapons of love, God has defeated selfishness and death and His Son Jesus is the door of mercy wide open for everyone,” Francis said.
The Pope also said that the Risen Christ “invites us not to forget the men and women on their journey in search of a better future, increasingly great waves of migrants and refugees—including many children—fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.”
These brothers and sisters of ours, he said, “too often encounter death or rejection from those who could offer them hospitality and help.”
Francis also reached out in his address to “our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for their faith and for their loyalty to the name of Christ,” telling them to remember the consoling words of the Lord: “Do not be afraid! I have overcome the world!”
Today, he said, “is the day of this brilliant victory, because Christ trampled death and his resurrection has brought life and immortality.”
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