Pope Francis devoted his December 17 general audience to the victims of terrorism in Peshawar, Pakistan and Sydney, Australia.
According to the Vatican Radio Pope Francis called the family a “great gift of the Lord to the world, right from the beginning, when he entrusted Adam and Eve with the mission to ‘be fruitful, increase in number and fill the earth.’”
He continued saying, “The Son of God, chose to be born into the Holy Family in the peripheries of the Roman Empire. Jesus “was raised in an atmosphere of religious devotion, learning from the words and examples of Mary and Joseph, and growing in wisdom, age and grace.”
At this occasion Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the “inhuman terror attacks perpetrated in the past days in Sydney, Australia, and in Peshawar, Pakistan.” The Pontiff asked those present in St. Peter’s Square to join him in praying to the Lord to “receive the deceased in peace, to bring comfort to their families and to convert the hearts of the violent who do not hold back even before children.”
On December 16th terrorists launched an attack on the Army Public school in Peshawar, Pakistan. More than 140 school children and staff members were killed. Central Sydney was put in lockdown as the gunman, identified as an Iranian refugee, seized dozens of hostages earlier on Monday December 15.