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Pope Francis prays for Moscow attack victims, calls for peace in observance of Holy Week

Pope Francis extended his prayers to the victims of a recent terrorist attack in Moscow, calling for peace and the conversion of those responsible for such acts. 

In his Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square following Mass on Palm Sunday, the Pope said, “I assure my prayers for the victims of the vile terrorist attack carried out the other evening in Moscow.”

He prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls and for comfort for their families. “May the Lord welcome them in His peace and comfort their families,” he said.  

The pontiff urged for peace and prayed for God to “convert the hearts of those who plan, organize, and carry out these inhuman actions”.

The attack took place in Moscow’s Crocus City concert hall, where at least four armed individuals killed at least 133 people and injured dozens, according to Vatican News. 

The attackers detonated explosive devices, causing a fire. The attack was claimed by an affiliate of the so-called Islamic State, with confirmation from US intelligence officials. Following the incident, Russian authorities have arrested 11 people, including the gunmen.

In his message, Pope Francis mentioned the suffering caused by war, especially in Ukraine, noting, “so many people are without electricity due to intense attacks against infrastructure, which, besides causing death and suffering, raise the risk of an even-greater humanitarian catastrophe.” 

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He urged the faithful not to forget Ukraine and also mentioned the suffering in Gaza and other war-torn regions.

The Pope encouraged Christians to entrust their journey toward Easter to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to “learn from her to draw near to Jesus in these days of Holy Week, so that we may arrive at the joy of the Resurrection.” 

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