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Visitors in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican yesterday look up to the Apostolic Palace as Pope Francis leads the recitation of the Angelus (CNS/Lola Gomez)

Pope Francis has renewed calls for prayer for Ukraine and entrusted to Mary her people’s prayers for peace. Source: OSV News.

“The din of weapons drowns out attempts at dialogue,” the Pope told an estimated 10,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Square yesterday to pray the Angelus with him on the Feast of the Assumption. 

“The law of force prevails over the force of law” and respect for human rights, “but we must not be discouraged,” the Pope said. “Let’s continue to hope and pray because it is God, it is he who guides history. May he hear us.”

While the Church celebrates the feast of Mary’s assumption, body and soul, into heaven, the day’s Gospel reading focused on the Visitation, Mary’s decision to rush to visit her cousin Elizabeth when she heard the older woman also was expecting. 

The passage also includes the Magnificat, when Mary praises the greatness of God and all he has done for her.

The Gospel also makes clear how praise — especially of God but also of others — changes the quality of one’s actions and one’s life, he said.

“Praise increases joy. Praise is like a ladder: it leads hearts upward,” he said. “Praise elevates souls and defeats the temptation to give up.”

“Haven’t you seen how boring people, those who live on gossip, are incapable of praise,” the Pope asked the crowd.

“Ask yourself: Am I capable of praise? How good it is to praise God every day, and others, too! How good it is to live in gratitude and blessing instead of regrets and complaints, to raise our gaze upward instead of keeping a long face!”


Pope entrusts prayers for peace to Mary, assumed into heaven (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via OSV News)