Pope thanks Netherlands for flowers in Easter speech
In his annual Easter speech on the St. Peter's square in the Vatican City, Pope Francis called for more efforts for peace in Syria, Jerusalem and other conflict ridden areas. He also thanked the Netherlands for the flowers that decorated the square, NOS reports.
"Today we implore fruits of peace upon the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long suffering land of Syria whose people are worn down by an apparently endless war", the Pope said in his Easter message on Sunday, according to BBC. "This Easter may the light of the risen Christ illuminate the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course."
"We beseech fruits of reconciliation for the Holy Land, also experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenseless, for Yemen and for the entire Middle East, so that dialogue and mutual respect may prevail over division and violence." This speech came two days after violent protests in the Gaza strip left at least 15 people dead.
The Pope also called for wounds to be healed and peace to be restored in South Sudan, the democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine and Venezuela. And expressed the hope that a recently established dialogue between North- and South Korea will "advance harmony and peace" in the Korean peninsula. The leaders of the two countries will meet for the first time in a decade on April 27th.
Pope Francis also thanked the Netherlands for the flowers that decorated the St. Peter square. The 50 thousand flowers were arranged by a team of 25 people, and were grown by Dutch man Bart Bergman, NOS reports.