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On anniversary of Rome bombing, Pope prays for Ukraine


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the window of the Apostolic palace overlooking St Peter's square for the Angelus prayer in the Vatican on July 16, 2023.

I.Media - published on 07/17/23

On the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Rome, the Pope expressed his compassion for peoples at war.

“Have we lost our memory? May the Lord have mercy on us,” said Pope Francis at the end of the Angelus address July 16, 2023. He was speaking out against the persistence of war, 80 years after the bombing of Rome, which prompted Pius XII to make one of his rare trips outside the Vatican.

“I want to recall that 80 years ago, on July 19, 1943, certain areas of Rome, especially San Lorenzo, were bombed. The Venerable Pius XII wanted to go among the devastated people,” explained Pope Francis.

He already paid tribute to his predecessor in 2013, on the 70th anniversary of this event, which still had many first-hand witnesses at the time.

“Unfortunately, even today, these tragedies are repeated. How is this possible?” said the 86-year-old Pontiff sadly. His own childhood in Argentina was marked by the distant echoes of war in Europe. 

“May the Lord have mercy on us and free the human family from the scourge of war,” prayed Pope Francis. “Let us pray in particular for the dear Ukrainian people, who are suffering so much,” added the Pope.

Since the start of the Russian offensive on Ukraine in February 2022, he has expressed his compassion for Ukraine on more than 100 occasions.

Pope FrancisRomeUkraine
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