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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday issued an appeal for an end to the violence in Burundi, and asked the Lord to help its people to act responsibly for the good of the nation.
Burundi saw an attempted coup earlier this week and has been the scene of violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the current president.
The Pope’s appeal for peace followed the canonization of four new female saints, including two saints from Palestine.
In remarks delivered just before the traditional Sunday recitation of the Easter Marian prayer, the Regina caeli, the Pope greeted all those who had come to pay homage to the news saints, and expressed his desire that Sunday’s canonizations would help Christians in the Middle East and across the world to look to the future with hope.
Here below is an English translation of the Pope’s remarks.
Dear brothers and sisters,
At the end of this celebration, I wish greet all of you who have come to pay homage to the new saints, in a particular way the official Delegations from Palestine, France, Italy, Israel, and Jordan. I greet with affection the cardinals, bishops, priests, as well as the spiritual daughters of the four saints. Through their intercession, may the Lord grant a new missionary impulse to their respective countries. Inspired by their example of mercy, charity, and reconciliation, may Christians of these lands look to the future with hope, continuing in the journey of solidarity and fraternal coexistence.
I extend my greetings to the families, parish groups, associations, and schools here present, especially to those being confirmed from the Archdiocese of Genoa.
I address a special though to the faithful of the Czech Republic, gathered in the sanctuary of Svatý Kopeček, near Olomouc, who today are remembering the twentieth anniversary of the visit of Saint John Paul II.
Yesterday, in Venice was the beatification of the priest Luigi Caburlotto, pastor, educator, and founder of the Daughters of Saint Joseph. Let us give thanks to God for this exemplary pastor, who led an intense spiritual and apostolic life, totally dedicated to the good of souls.
I would also like to invite you to pray for the beloved people of Burundi, who are living through a difficult moment: May the Lord help all people to flee the violence and act responsibly for the good of the nation.
With filial love let us now turn to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, Queen of the Saints, and model for all Christians:
Regina caeli …
Diane Montagna is Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.