Pope Francis prayed for the sick and the ones affected by civil war in Syria after the recital of Regina Coeli on Sunday. Addressing the pilgrims and faithful, he said:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Proclaimed Blessed today in Vohipeno, Madagascar, is the martyr Luciano Botovasoa, father of a family, coherent witness of Christ to the heroic giving of his life. Arrested and killed for having expressed his wish to remain faithful to the Lord and to the Church, he represents for all of us an example of charity and of fortitude in the faith.
I am profoundly disturbed by the present world situation, in which, notwithstanding the instruments at the disposition of the International Community, there is difficulty in agreeing to a common action in favour of peace in Syria and in other regions of the world. While I pray incessantly for peace, and I invite all persons of good will to continue doing so, I appeal again to all political leaders, so that justice and peace prevail.
I received with grief the news of the killing of three men kidnapped at the end of March on the border between Ecuador and Colombia. I pray for them and for their families, and I am close to the dear Ecuadorian people, encouraging them to go forward united and peacefully, with the help of the Lord and of His Most Holy Mother.
I entrust to your prayer persons such as Vincent Lambert in France, little Alfie Evans in England, and others in several countries who live, sometimes for a long time, in a state of grave illness, assisted medically for their primary needs. They are delicate situations, very painful and complex. Let us pray so that every sick person is always respected in his dignity and cared for in a way adapted to his condition, with the harmonious contribution of the family, of doctors and of other health workers, with great respect for life.
I greet you all affectionately, pilgrims from Italy and from so many places of the world: the families, parish groups, schools and Associations. I greet, in particular, the faithful of California, as well as those of Arluno Pontelongo, Scandicci, Genoa-Pegli and Vibo Valentia; the children of the “Daughters of Jesus” School of Modena and the “Friends of Paul VI” group of Pescara.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. And please, don’t forget to pray for me.”