Pope Francis marked his second Easter as the leader of the world's largest Christian church by delivering a message of peace — calling for and end to the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well the recent violence in Nigeria.
More than 150,000 people gathered in St. Peters Square in Rome to hear his Holiness' prayer on Christianity's most joyous occasion. (Via BBC)
On an alter erected on the sacred church's steps, Francis asked God "to enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine, so that all those involved ... will make every effort to prevent violence.” And prayed both sides in the Syrian civil war “boldly negotiate the peace long awaited and long overdue.” He also called for an end to "brutal terrorist attacks" in Nigeria, many of which are targeted at Christians. (Via The Vatican, CNN)
But the Holy Father's Easter message also invoked a familiar theme we've seen throughout his year long papacy: economic inequality.
Pope Francis, the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, has often denounced the excesses of capitalism and consumerism in developed nations around the world. (Via NBC)
Including during Easter Mass and other important celebrations last year, when he spoke out against the "idolatry of money" and "dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose." (Via CNN)
Francis' economic message this Easter stressed for people to pay attention to the needy close to home.