Pope Francis read an impassioned prayer asking God to have mercy and bring peace to the war in Ukraine during his Wednesday general audience on March 16.

Here is an English translation of the prayer, originally written in Italian by Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples, southern Italy:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.

Lord Jesus, born under the bombs of Kyiv, have mercy on us.

Lord Jesus, who died in his mother’s arms in a bunker in Kharkiv, have mercy on us.

Lord Jesus, sent at 20 years old to the front, have mercy on us.

Lord Jesus, who still sees armed hands in the shadow of your Cross, have mercy on us!

Forgive us, Lord,

if, not content with the nails with which we pierced your hands, we continue to drink from the blood of the dead torn apart by weapons.

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Forgive us, Lord, if these hands that you created for care have been transformed into instruments of death.

Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother, if we continue like Cain to remove the stones from our field to kill Abel. Forgive us if we continue to justify cruelty with our toil, if with our pain we legitimize the cruelty of our actions.

Forgive us the war, Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, we implore you: Stop the hand of Cain!

Enlighten our consciences,

let not our will be done,

do not abandon us to our own actions.

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Stop us, Lord, stop us.

And when you have stopped the hand of Cain, take care of him too. He is our brother.

O Lord, stop the violence.

Stop us, Lord.