He calls on the God of Peace for Afghanistan, and entrusts the earthquake victims of Haiti to the Madonna.
Pope Francis called the faithful to pray for two countries in crisis, Afghanistan and Haiti.
The Holy Father asked for this, and led the faithful in prayer, after he prayed the midday Angelus on August 15.
I join in the unanimous concern for the situation in Afghanistan. I ask all of you to pray with me to the God of peace so that the clamour of weapons might cease and solutions can be found at the table of dialogue. Only thus can the battered population of that country – men, women, elderly and children – return to their own homes, and live in peace and security, in total mutual respect.
With the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban has progressively and rapidly taken over the main centers of the country. Their forces are currently surrounding Kabul, the capital. The insurgents say they will not take the city by force and want to negotiate with the Afghan government.
Haiti, meanwhile, already suffering political unrest after the July assassination of the president, was hit by a 7.2 earthquake in the early mornings of Saturday.
The death toll is already at more than 300, but many hundreds more will surely be added.
This quake was more powerful than the 2010 quake, which the country still hasn’t recovered from. That quake killed more than 220,000 people.
In addition, there’s a possibility that Tropical Storm Grace will pass over or near Haiti on Monday.
The Pope said:
In the past few hours, a strong earthquake occurred in Haiti, provoking numerous deaths, wounding many, and causing extensive material damage. I want to express my closeness to the dear people hard hit by the earthquake.
While I lift up my prayer to the Lord for the victims, I extend my word of encouragement to the survivors, hoping that the interest of the international community to help might move toward them. May the solidarity of all alleviate the consequences of the tragedy!
Let us pray together to the Madonna for Haiti. Hail Mary…