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“It seems we never learn,” says Francis on 100th anniversary of WWI’s end

Crown Copyright 2013
One of the thousands of graves of British and Commonwealth soldiers at the Tyne Cot cemetery in Belgium.
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Says St. Martin's gesture of cutting his cloak in two to share with the poor shows us the path to peace

Pope Francis on November 11 mentioned the anniversary of WWI after he prayed the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

He lamented that humanity never seems to learn, and continues to enable and allow bloody conflicts across the globe.

Here is his reflection:

Today is the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, which my predecessor Benedict XV described as a “useless massacre.” Thus, at 1:30 Italian time, the bells of the whole world, also those of St. Peter’s Basilica, will ring.

The historical chapter of the First World War is for everyone a grave warning to reject the culture of conflict, and to seek out every legitimate means to end the conflicts that still bloody so many regions of the world.

It seems we never learn.

As we pray for all the victims of this enormous tragedy, we exclaim: “Let us invest in peace, not war!”

And as an emblematic symbol, we take St. Martin of Tours, who we celebrate today: He cut his cloak into two pieces in order to share with a poor man. This gesture of human solidarity shows all of us the path to build peace.

 

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