Pope Francis calls for suffering in Syria to end


Pope Francis appeared to refer directly to the Gaza violence last Friday, calling for "reconciliation for the Holy Land, also experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenceless".

On Christianity's most joyful day, Pope Francis has called for peace in a world marked by war and conflict, "beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria" and extending to the Gaza violence as at least 16 Palestinians were killed on the Gaza-Israel border two days before Easter Sunday.

He continued "this Easter may the light of the risen Christ illuminate the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course; that humanitarian law may be respected; and that provisions be made to facilitate access to the aid so urgently needed".

At noon on April 1, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, the pontiff addressed tens of thousands of believers who gathered in the square in front of the Basilica and all people of goodwill in the world with a traditional Easter message.

Pope Francis also talked about tensions on the Korean peninsula.

This included migrants and refugees who he said were "so often rejected by today's culture of waste".

Francis, celebrating his sixth Easter as Roman Catholic leader since his election in 2013, urged his listeners to work for an end to the "so many acts of injustice" in the world.

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Nigerian John Francesco Ogah stands during a solemn Easter vigil ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday.

In September past year, migrant John Ogah, 31, had been begging outside a supermarket in Rome when he confronted a thief, who was armed with a meat cleaver and attempting to steal money from the store.

According to Italian news reports, Ogah had been begging for spare change outside the Carrefour market when a masked thief, armed with a meat cleaver, tried to make off with 400 euros ($636 Cdn) he had stolen from the cashiers.

Police using footage from surveillance cameras tracked him down and rewarded him by helping him get legal permission to stay in the country.

Pope Francis was welcomed by this small boy after he gave his Easter mass at St Peter's Square St Peter's Square was crowded with the faithful who had come to listen to the pope's message Devoted nuns get a memento of their visit to hear the pope Pope Francis delivered his message amid tight security at the Vatican Francis opened Easter festivities with a tweet to his global flock: 'Our faith is born on Easter morning: Jesus is alive!

Pope Francis has made defence of migrants a key part of his papacy.