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Pope calls for peace in Northern Ireland to be consolidated in Easter Monday prayers

Pope on Easter Monday
Pope on Easter Monday Copyright Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
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Peace in Northern Ireland and the desire for peace in Ukraine marked Pope Francis' Easter service in Vatican City.


Pope Francis celebrated peace in Northern Ireland during his Easter service in Vatican City on Monday.

Before thousands of believers, the leader of the Catholic Church commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreements, which put an end to decades of sectarian violence.

"I pray to the God of Peace that what he achieved in that historic passage may be consolidated for the benefit of all the men and women of the island of Ireland," said Pope Francis. "Let's continue to invoke the gift of peace for the whole world, especially for the dear and battered Ukraine."

The call came as he celebrated the Regina Coeli (or Queen of the Heavens) prayer in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Francis on Sunday invoked prayers for both the Ukrainian and Russian people and praised nations which welcome refugees.

The 86-year-old pontiff, who was hospitalized recently with bronchitis, skipped the traditional Good Friday nighttime procession at the Colosseum because of chilly weather in Rome.

During the Regina Coeli, he recalled how the women in the Gospel hurry to share the news of the resurrection and teach the faithful that they encounter Jesus by bearing witness to him.

“When we encounter Jesus,” Francis said, “no obstacle can keep us from proclaiming him. If instead we keep his joy to ourselves, perhaps it is because we have not yet truly encountered him.”

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