This Saturday, May 18, Pope Francis hugged an Israeli and a Palestinian who have lost relatives in the current war, which he called a “historic defeat”, during a peace ceremony in the Italian city of Verona (north).

>>> You can also read: “Life must be protected from conception to natural death”: Pope Francis

The Argentine pontiff gathered around 12,500 people in the famous Veronese Roman amphitheater, the Arena, at an event on peace in which, among other issues, he addressed the war in the Gaza Strip and Israel after the attack by Hamas Islamists on October 7.

Among the testimonies heard, the case of the Israeli Maoz Inon stood out, who He lost his parents to Hamas, and that of Palestinian Aziz Sarah, whose brother was killed by Israeli troops.

Both spoke before the pope and declared that they had been united by “pain and suffering” that they experienced, which made everyone in the amphitheater stand up and applaud, also the pope himself despite his mobility problems.

Francisco then hugged both: “I believe that in the face of the suffering of these two brothers, which is the suffering of two peoples, nothing can be said. They have had the courage to hug each other and This is not only courage, but an example of wanting peace, it is a project for the future, hugging“, he celebrated.

Pope Francis prayed for children and the elderly

The pope then asked the attendees keep silent and pray for peace, especially by children and the elderly, not only in the Holy Land but also in Ukraine.

“Let’s think about the elderly who worked their entire lives to move these two countries forward and now this defeat, a historic defeat and for all of us. Let us pray for peace and that these two brothers bring this desire of ours and the will to work for peace to their people,” he said.

The pope called on attendees to “sow hope” and said “he is increasingly convinced that the future of humanity is not only in the hands of leaders and great powers but also in the hands of the people and their ability to organize” and “change.”

Likewise, Francisco said that one breathes “tiredness in the air” of societies and warned that “peace is not invented overnight, but must be cared for.” For this reason, he called it a “serious crime” that peace is not taken care of in today’s world.

>>> You can also read: Pope Francis advocates an “exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine”


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