VATICAN CITY (CNS) ─ "We can pray for Ukraine by saying, 'Hurry up, Lord,'" Pope Francis told visitors and pilgrims at his weekly general audience.
The day after a Russian-made missile landed in Poland, close to Ukraine's border, killing two people, and after Russia fired close to 100 missiles on Ukrainian targets, causing at least one death and leaving many people without electricity, Pope Francis made another appeal for peace Nov. 16.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said Nov. 16 there was a "high probability" that Ukrainian forces had fired the Russian-made missile as part of its defense against the Russian barrage and it accidentally landed in Poland.
Russia had not fired such a barrage in weeks but seemed to be targeting Ukraine's electrical grid and other infrastructure ahead of the winter cold.
After praying for victims of a terrorist attack Nov. 13 in Istanbul, the pope told people in St. Peter's Square, "Our constant prayer is also for martyred Ukraine. May the Lord give Ukrainians consolation, strength amid this trial and give them hope for peace."
Pope Francis said he had learned "with grief and concern of a new and even stronger missile attack on Ukraine, which caused deaths and damage to much civil infrastructure."
"We pray that the Lord will convert the hearts of those who still encourage war and let the desire for peace prevail for martyred Ukraine, to avoid any escalation and open the way to a cease-fire and dialogue," he said.