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Pope Francis prays for Ukraine with Ukranian pilgrims at the World Youth Day

The Pope met and prayed together with 15 pilgrims from Ukraniane on August 2, 2023 (Thursday), before his public engagements on the second day of his visit to Portugal, the Vatican News reported.

"This morning, before leaving the Nunciature," Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See office said, "Pope Francis met a group of 15 young pilgrims from Ukraine accompanied by Mr. Denys Kolada, Consultant for Dialogue with Religious Organisations at the Ukrainian government."

Pope Francis has expressed his concern to the young pilgrims in Ukraine.

"After listening to their moving stories," said Mr. Bruni, the Pope "addressed a few words to the young people, expressing his 'sorrowful and prayerful' closeness."

The Pope has spent half an hour with the Ukrainian pilgrims and has taken the opportunity to pray with them.

"At the end of the half-hour meeting," Bruni said, "Pope Francis and the young people recited the Our Father together, "with their thoughts turned toward martyred Ukraine."

Bruni confirmed that the Pope's meeting with young Ukrainians happened before he engaged with university students on that day.

Pope Francis has repeatedly called for peace and an end to the war in Ukraine.

On June 30, 2023, Reuters quoted him as saying, "The tragic reality of this war that seems to have no end demands of everyone a common creative effort to imagine and forge paths of peace."

The Pope was addressing delegates from the Patriarch of Constantinople.

He made the statement after his peace envoy concluded three days of talks in Moscow.

The ongoing Russo-Ukranian War broke out on February 20, 2014, after Russia dispatched forces and started assaulting and capturing Ukrainian cities.

Pope Francis is in Lisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugal, for World Youth Day 2023. The Catholic festival in Lisbon waves the theme 'Mary arose and went with haste.'- Oliver Samson


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