“May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of this cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged,” Francis said on Easter.

Pope Francis pleaded for peace in the “senseless” war in Ukraine and in other armed conflicts around the world in his Easter Sunday address from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square, RFE/RL reports.

“May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of this cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged,” Francis said on April 17.

Applause erupted from many of the crowd of some 100,000 people in the Vatican square and on a nearby street when he mentioned Ukraine.

Francis denounced “the flexing of muscles while people are suffering” and pleaded, “Please, please, let us not get used to war.”

The pontiff did not mention Russian President Vladimir Putin by name for the decision to launch the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

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