News / Europe

Pope's Easter Message Urges Peace in Africa, Middle East

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the 'Urbi et Orbi' (Latin for to the City and to the World) message from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, April 24, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the 'Urbi et Orbi' (Latin for to the City and to the World) message from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, April 24, 2011
Sabina Castelfranco

Tens of thousands of worshippers attended Easter Mass in Saint Peter’s Square Sunday. In his message to the world, Pope Benedict prayed for victims of conflicts in Ivory Coast and other African countries and called for an end to the fighting in Libya.

Easter Sunday brings to an end a very busy Holy Week for the 84-year-old Pope Benedict. Worshippers of all ages and nationalities attended Easter mass Sunday.  For those in the square it is a very special time.

"To be here at Easter time is renewal, it’s refreshing and its looking ahead no matter what is happening in the world," says this worshipper. "It’s very, very crowded but what I think is really, really neat about it is there are people from all over the world. I like it because it is kind of an international conglomeration of people coming together."

At the end of the mass, the pope delivered his papal address to the city of Rome and to the world, known as the "Urbi et Orbi,"  from the central balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

The pope asked for help for those fleeing conflict and for refugees from various African countries, particularly Libya and Ivory Coast, who have been forced to leave their homes. The pope urged people of good will to open their hearts to welcome them.

The pope also turned his thoughts to Japan and other countries that in recent months have been tested by natural disasters, which have sown pain and anguish.

Pope Benedict then gave his Easter greetings and blessings to the faithful around the world in more that 60 different languages. 

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