For the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Pope Francis sent a message reflecting on the devastation of World War II and the continuous quest for peace.

Addressed to Bishop Jacques Habert of Bayeux in Normandy, France, the Pope’s letter emphasized the “colossal and impressive collective and military effort undertaken to achieve the return to freedom,” that led to an immense sacrifice of life on D-Day.

During an ecumenical service in Bayeux, the Pope’s message was read aloud, which highlighted the catastrophic impact of the war on Normandy’s towns and cities. Pope Francis said we need to “remember the countless innocent civilian victims and all those who suffered from these terrible bombings.”

The Pope also expressed his concerns over the fading collective memory of the war’s horrors, which once fortified a global resolve to prevent future conflicts.”It is indeed worrying that the hypothesis of a generalized conflict is sometimes again seriously considered,” he said.

In his message, Pope Francis called for prayers for peace and reconciliation, urging remembrance of the past to safeguard the future.

“People want peace! They want conditions of stability, security, and prosperity where everyone can calmly fulfill their duty and destiny,” he said. He emphasized the grave mistake of ruining this order for “ideological, nationalist, or economic ambitions,” calling such actions as a sin before God.

Editorial credit: Cynthia Liang /
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