Vatican City, 3 March 2014 (VIS) – Following the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis launched an appeal for harmony in Ukraine, asking the faithful to pray for the delicate situation in the country is currently experiencing. “While I hope that all the parties within the country will make efforts to overcome misunderstandings and to build the future of the nation together, I also make a heartfelt appeal to the international community to support every initiative in support of dialogue and harmony”.

The Pope mentioned that this week sees the beginning of Lent, “the path of the People of God towards Easter: a path of conversion, and of struggle against evil through prayer, fasting, and mercy”. He added that “humanity needs justice, reconciliation, peace, and we can obtain these only by returning with all our hearts to God, their source. We are all in need of God's forgiveness. Let us enter Lent with a spirit of adoration for God and of fraternal solidarity with those who, in these times, suffer as a result of poverty and violent conflicts”.

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