Vatican City, Apr 3, 2016 / 04:20 am
On Sunday Pope Francis announced that a special collection will be taken up in all Catholic churches in Europe April 24, the funds of which will go toward relief for all suffering due to ongoing violence in Ukraine.
After celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Square on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis led pilgrims in praying the Regina Caeli, telling them beforehand that "on this day, which is like the heart of the Holy Year of Mercy, my thoughts go to all peoples who are thirsty for peace and reconciliation."
"I think, in particular here in Europe, of the plight of those who suffer the consequences of violence in Ukraine," he said, and pointed to the thousands who have either died, or continue to suffer due to a serious humanitarian crisis in the conflict areas.
Additionally, the Pope noted that so far "more than a million" people have been forced to leave their homes due to the severity of the situation, the majority of whom "are elderly and children."