Pope Francis led thousands of pilgrims in praying for Venezuela as the country continues to descend into chaos while government authorities press ahead with plans to change the country’s constitution.
Noting the forthcoming celebration of Venezuela’s 5th July independence celebration, the pope prayed the Hail Mary with the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square and invoked the country’s patroness, Our Lady of Coromoto, so that she may “intercede for Venezuela”.
“I assure my prayers for this dear nation and express my closeness to the families who have lost children in the demonstrations. I call for an end to the violence and that a peaceful and democratic solution may be found,” the pope said during his Angelus address on 2nd July.
Pope Francis’ appeal for peace comes several days after Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas said President Nicolas Maduro’s actions are “a government war against the people”.
“Those armed gangs and state security forces have caused deaths in a truly criminal way, such as shooting firearms directly at the head or firing shotguns at close range or launching tear gas to cause deadly damage,” Cardinal Urosa said during a Mass in Caracas on 29th June.
Picture: A woman with colours of the Venezuelan flag painted as tears joins demonstrators during a march in Caracas, Venezuela, on 1st July. (CNS photo/Miguel Gutierrez, EPA).