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We support the Ukrainian people who are suffering from the bombing - Pope Francis

The pontiff thanked Poland, which welcomes Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war.

We support the Ukrainian people who are suffering from the bombing - Pope Francis
Pope Francis

During a meeting with pilgrims on Wednesday, 2 March, Pope Francis spoke of the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Ukraine and said that the world community accompanies "all the people suffering from the bombing".

This was reported by Vatican News.

During the meeting the Pope was accompanied by an employee from Ukraine, a Franciscan priest Fr. Marco Gongalo, who translated the Pope's words to the Ukrainian people.

The presence of Father Mark was an opportunity for Pope Francis to express his closeness to the Ukrainian people, who are forced to hide in shelters from the bombing.

"His parents are currently in underground shelters to protect themselves from bombs in an area near Kyiv. He is still trying to fulfill his responsibilities here, working for us. Supporting him, we accompany all the people suffering from the bombing, his parents and many elderly people seeking protection in the basements. We carry these people in our hearts," said Pope Francis, and, addressing Fr. Mark, he added "Thank you for continuing your work."

The pontiff also thanked the Poles, who attended the meeting, for their help to Ukraine.

"You were the first to support Ukraine by opening your borders, your hearts and the doors of your homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war. You generously sacrifice everything they need for a dignified life, despite the dramatic situation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and bless you," said Pope Francis.

The Holy Father reminded pilgrims that 2 March is the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Ukraine.

"Today we are entering Lent. Our prayers and fasting will be a prayer for peace in Ukraine, remembering that world peace always begins with our personal conversion in following Christ," the pontiff said.

On 23 February Pope Francis delivered a petition for peace in Ukraine during a traditional audience. The head of the Catholic Church addressed all people of good will and declared 2 March a day of fasting for peace in Ukraine.

On 25 February the pontiff arrived at the Russian embassy in Rome to express his concern about the war in Ukraine.

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