VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis invited those gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday to pray for the victims of a deadly attack on a mosque in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula that left 305 people dead and about 100 more injured.
He recalled that the victims had been praying at the moment the attack struck, and invited those gathered below to pray and observe a moment of silence in commemoration.
“The news of the massacre at a mosque in North Sinai caused me great pain,” declared the pope, who said he continued to pray for the victims, the injured and the religious community to which they belonged.
The pope also touched on his impending trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, saying that he hoped his presence there would be a sign of “closeness and hope.”
The pontiff acknowledged the victims of the Holodomor, or Great Famine (1932-33), in Ukraine, “the death by famine caused by the Stalinist regime, with millions of victims,” as the Eastern European nation observed a day of remembrance.
“I pray for Ukraine, so that the strength of faith can contribute to heal the wounds of the past and promote paths of peace,” he said.
He also celebrated the beatification of Catalina Catalina de Maria Rodriguez, the founder of the Slaves of the Heart of Jesus, Argentina’s first congregation of apostolic life.