Pope Francis is urging everyone to pray for the soul of a Nigerian priest who was murdered last Sunday, and to continue to remember and pray for the suffering people of Ukraine.
At the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis asked everyone to remember in their prayers the many Christians who suffer violence directly.
He spoke in particular about Father Isaac Achi of the Diocese of Minna in northern Nigeria, who was murdered last Sunday in his parish residence.
Bandits targeted Father Achi and the assistant parish priest, Fr. Collins Omeh, at the rectory of SS Peter and Paul Church, in Kafin-Koro, in the Paikoro region.
The unidentified assailants set fire to the residence, burning Achi alive, and shot and injured Omeh as he attempted to escape.
The pope then turned his thoughts to “battered Ukraine”, calling on everyone to remember the people in their prayers as they greatly need “our closeness, consolation, and above all peace”.
He also recalled the latest missile attack that took place last Saturday, killing and injuring many civilians, among them children, saying he shares in the “heartbreaking pain” of the families.
“The images and the testimonies of this tragic episode are a powerful appeal to our consciences. No one can remain indifferent!”
Media reports say 45 people died and 79 were wounded in a Russian missile strike that hit an apartment building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Saturday. 19 remain missing.