By Sarah Mac Donald - 28 March, 2016
Pope Francis on Easter Sunday recalled all victims of terrorism lamenting the “blind and brutal” violence which continues to shed blood such as the recent attacks in Belgium, as well as in places such as Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire.
Addressing St Peter’s Square, which was packed on Easter Sunday morning with pilgrims, the Pope said the Easter message speaks especially to those seeking to escape from persecution and poverty, and he called on everyone in happier situations not to forget those in less fortunate circumstances.
“The Easter message of the risen Christ, a message of life for all humanity echoes down the ages and invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees – including many children – fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice,” said Pope Francis.
The Holy Father also spoke directly to people who struggle to keep faith and hope.
“To those in our society who have lost all hope and joy in life, to the elderly who struggle alone and feel their strength waning,” he said, “to young people who seem to have no future, to all I once more address the words of the Risen One: ‘See, I am making all things new… To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life’ (Rev 21:5-6).”
Pope Francis concluded, saying, “May this comforting message of Jesus help each of us to set out anew with greater courage to blaze trails of reconciliation with God and with all our brothers and sisters.”
“The Easter message of the risen Christ, a message of life for all humanity,” said Pope Francis, “echoes down the ages and invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees – including many children – fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.”
The Pontiff also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the deadly terror attack in Iskanderiyeh in Iraq on Good Friday.
At least 29 people were killed in the attack, for which the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility.
In a telegram signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to the Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq, Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin, the Pope pledged prayers for the deceased and for their loved ones, as well as for the resolve of the Iraqi people in the face of such violence.