Pope Commemorates Victims of World War II Massacre of Volhynia

Asks for Grace of Profound Reconciliation Between Poland and Ukraine

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, (Zenit.org) Staff | 1317 hits

Following Sunday's Angelus, Pope Francis commemorated the massacres of Volhynia in June 1943, a tragic episode during the Second World War in which tens of thousands of people lost their lives.

“I join in prayer with the prelates and faithful of the Church in Ukraine, gathered in the cathedral of Lutsk for the Holy Mass of the souls of the deceased on the seventieth anniversary of the massacres at Volhynia,” the Pope said.

“Those actions, provoked by nationalist ideology in the tragic context of the Second World War, claimed tens of thousands of victims and damaged the fraternity between the two peoples, the Polish and the Ukrainian. I entrust to the mercy of God the souls of the victims and, for their people, I ask the grace of profound reconciliation and of a peaceful future in hope and in sincere collaboration in building together the Kingdom of God.”

The Holy Father also took a moment to greet the faithful gathered including members of Radio Maria and the faithful of the Diocese of Albano who would be celebrating the feast of their patron, St. Bonaventure, on Monday.

“May tomorrow's feast be beautiful, and many best wishes! I'd like to send you a cake... but I don't think they can make one big enough!” he said jokingly.