After leading the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday’s Solemnity of the Assumption, Pope Francis expressed his concern over the situation in Afghanistan. He asked everyone to unite in praying to “the God of peace so that the clamour of weapons might cease and solutions can be found at the table of dialogue.” He said only this way can the “battered population of that country – men, women, elderly and children” be able to “return to their own homes, and live in peace and security, in total mutual respect”.
The Pope also recalled the strong earthquake that shook Haiti overnight, causing numerous deaths, wounding many, and causing extensive damage. He expressed his “closeness to the dear people hard hit by the earthquake”, offering his prayers to the Lord for the victims. He offered his encouragement to the survivors and hopes that the help of the international community might reach them. “May the solidarity of all alleviate the consequences of the tragedy!”, he emphasised, inviting everyone in the Square to pray a Hail Mary for Haiti.