Today the Holy Father commemorated the beginning of World War II, which took place in Gdansk, Poland, by emphasizing the tragedy of war and praying for a “spirit of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation” in Europe.
Tuesday marked the 70th anniversary of the first shots fired in World War II when Poland was invaded by German troops.
The Polish and German bishops commemorated the beginning of World War II with a Mass in Berlin and issued a statement that extended forgiveness and asked for it as well.
Following his Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father greeted the Polish pilgrims present and noted yesterday's anniversary.
“Human tragedies and the absurdity of war remain in the memory of peoples," he said. "Let us ask God that the spirit of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation may pervade the hearts of humankind. Europe and the world today need a spirit of communion. Let us build it upon Christ and His Gospel, upon the foundation of charity and truth."