At the conclusion of Wednesday's General Audience, November 23, Pope Francis turned his thoughts and prayers to people around the world.
Prayers for Java earthquake victims
He first expressed his closeness to the people of the Indonesian island of Java hit this week by a strong earthquake causing over a hundred deaths and many more injured. An estimated 13 thousand have been displaced by the destruction as rescue workers continue their emergency efforts. The Pope said, "I express my nearness to that dear population and I pray for the dead and the injured."
World Cup in Qatar
The Pope then spoke about the World Cup taking place in Qatar, sending his greetings to the athletes, fans, and spectators following the world football championship around the globe. "May this important event be an occasion for encounter and harmony among the nations, fostering fraternity and peace among peoples."
Peace in Ukraine and world
The Pope asked everyone to pray for peace throughout the world and an end to all conflicts. He mentioned in particular "the terrible suffering of the dear and martyred people of Ukraine." He then recalled last Saturday's anniversary of the terrible genocide of the Holodomor, the extermination by hunger in 1932-1933 artificially caused by Stalin. "Let us pray for the victims of this genocide and pray for the all Ukrainians, the children, the women and the elderly, the babies, who are today suffering the martyrdom of aggression."
Blessed Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli
On a joyous note, the Pope recalled that last Sunday's beatification in Kalongo, Uganda, of Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli, a Comboni missionary, priest and doctor, originally from the Diocese of Como, Italy. Blessed Fr. Ambrosoli died in Uganda in 1987 and dedicated his life to the sick in whom he saw the face of Christ, the Pope said, adding "may his extraordinary witness help each one of us to be worthy of a Church on the move a round of applause for the new Blessed!"
World Fisheries Day
And finally, the Pope also mentioned Monday's annual World Fisheries Day that aims to foster the sustainability of fishing and aquaculture "through respect for the rights of people who fish, who through their work contribute to food security, nutrition and reducing poverty in the world."