|Pope Francis. Photo: AP
“May the Lord inspire us to offer concrete gestures of solidarity to assist all those who are suffering”, Pope Francis said in his Christmas message from St. Peter's basilica in the Vatican, referring to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The 86-year-old pope remembered Ukrainians “who are experiencing this Christmas in the dark and cold, far from their homes" and expressed sadness that people continue to endure the conflict.
The pontiff sent Christmas wishes and urged for help for the homeless, migrants, refugees, and poor who are struggling to get food and stay warm. He warned that the 10-month conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating food shortages around the world, particularly in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa countries.
Pope Francis stressed the need to take care of people who are suffering in Syria, Haiti, and the Sahel region of Africa, and called for the resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestine.
Thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square to listen to the Pope's Christmas message. Traditionally, a call for peace is at the heart of the Pope's annual Christmas message.