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Pope Francis gives his urbi et orbi message and blessing from the central loggia of St Peter’s Basilica on Easter Sunday (Vatican Media)

In his Easter Sunday blessing, Pope Francis asked the risen Lord to open paths of peace in the Holy Land, Ukraine, and all regions of the world suffering from war and violence. Source: CNA.

Speaking from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, Pope Francis called for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. He appealed for humanitarian access for the people of Gaza and called for the prompt release of the hostages seized by Hamas on October 7 last year.

“Jesus alone opens up before us the doors of life, those doors that continually we shut with the wars spreading throughout the world,” he said.

“Today we want, first and foremost, to turn our eyes to the Holy City of Jerusalem, that witnessed the mystery of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and to all the Christian communities of the Holy Land.

“My thoughts go especially to the victims of the many conflicts worldwide, beginning with those in Israel and Palestine, and in Ukraine. May the risen Christ open a path of peace for the war-torn peoples of those regions.”

Pope Francis gave the traditional urbi et orbi blessing from the central loggia of St Peter’s Basilica following Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square in the presence of about 60,000 people.

“Urbi et orbi” means “To the city [of Rome] and to the world” and is a special apostolic blessing given by the Pope every year on Easter Sunday, Christmas, and other special occasions.

Beginning with the Holy Land and Ukraine, Pope Francis prayed for the many countries in the world that are suffering from violence, poverty, instability, food insecurity, and conflicts.

“Peace is never made with arms but with outstretched hands and open hearts,” he said.

In his peace message, Pope Francis expressed hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine. He also offered prayers for Syria and Lebanon whose populations continue to experience the devastating effects of war.

The Pope asked the Lord to open paths of peace on the African continent. He also prayed for the risen Lord to assist the people of Haiti, and encouraged the discussions taking place between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and expressed his hope that they could arrive as soon as possible at a definitive peace agreement.


Pope Francis on Easter: May the risen Christ open a path of peace in the Holy Land (By Courtney Mares, CNA)


Pope prays for Easter peace to fill places torn by war (Vatican News)

Pope Francis pleads for peace in Easter message (The Australian)

Pope soldiers on through Easter Sunday after skipping Good Friday ‘to preserve health’ (SMH)

Pope Francis calls for Gaza ceasefire, release of all Israeli hostages in address on Easter Sunday (ABC News)

Pope skips Good Friday event to preserve health ahead of Easter, Vatican says (SMH)

Pope Francis presides at Mass on Easter Sunday (Vatican News)

Pope at Regina Coeli: Lord’s Resurrection brings immense joy, transforms our lives (Vatican News)