28 February 2024

Pope remembers land mine victims on treaty anniversary

28 February 2024

The Pope has appeared at his weekly audience after cancelling all appointments earlier in the week due to a mild flu, remembering the victims of land mines and calling for peace in the Middle East, Ukraine and elsewhere.

The Pope was pushed in a wheelchair into the audience hall at the Vatican on Wednesday, appearing weary as he dropped heavily into his seat.

In recent weeks he has walked the short distance to his chair, but he has been struggling with mild flu symptoms in the past week.

Francis also cancelled appointments on Saturday and Monday due to the flu, but appeared as usual for the Sunday blessing from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square.

The Pope used his brief words at the end of the audience to mark the 25th anniversary of the ratification of the Anti-Personnel Mines Convention, expressing his “closeness to the numerous victims of these insidious devices that remind us of the dramatic cruelty of war”.

He also appealed for peace in the Middle East, Ukraine and prayed for the victims of attacks in Burkina Faso and Haiti.

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